The Golden State Warriors reportedly are finalizing a deal to acquire All-Star guard Chris Paul from the Washington Wizards in exchange for guard Jordan Poole. Per multiple reports, the Warriors also will send 2022 second-round pick Ryan Rollins and two future picks to the Wizards as part of the deal for Paul. 

Poole was a key contributor to the Warriors’ 2022 NBA title run. Golden State selected Poole with the 28th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and the 24-year-old guard has shown steady improvements since entering the league. Poole joins a Washington team now fully in the midst of a complete rebuild.  He averaged a career-best 20.4 points over 82 games during the 2022-23 season, along with averages of 2.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists (career-high). 

However, he regressed in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, shooting 34.1% and averaging 10.3 ppg, playing only 21.8 minutes per game because of the struggles.

As for the veteran point guard Paul, he had two of his title-hope seasons thwarted by the Warriors. In 2018, Paul and the Houston Rockets had a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference finals before he got hurt, missed the final two games and Golden State prevailed — on the way to the NBA title. And in 2019, the Warriors beat Paul and the Rockets again, that time in the West semifinals before ultimately falling to Toronto in the NBA Finals.

The move could also provide the Warriors with financial flexibility in future seasons. Poole is about to begin a four-year, $128 million deal. Paul is due about $31 million this coming season and has nothing guaranteed after that.

It may usher in something totally new and different for Paul — a bench role.

He has appeared in 1,214 regular-season games and another 149 in the playoffs, and has started every single one of them. But it obviously seems unlikely that he would supplant guards Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson in Golden State’s starting lineup.

So, at 38 years old and about to enter his 19th NBA season, Paul could find himself in a new position. But there is an obvious tradeoff, since the Warriors will almost certainly be considered a title-contender going into next season after winning four championships in the last decade — and Paul has never gotten his championship. He went to the NBA Finals with Phoenix in 2021, but the Suns blew a 2-0 series lead and lost to Milwaukee in six games.

The 12-time All-Star averaged 13.9 points and 8.9 assists this past season for Phoenix.

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