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Murph: Why I don’t hate the Chris Paul trade



© Rob Schumacher/The R | 2022 Dec 17

The Chris Paul trade.

Here’s the thing: I don’t hate it.

(Ducking to avoid flying objects)

Mind, I hear all the negatives, and I understand: He’s 38. His hamstring might fray like an old shoelace. He’s not a “Warriors system”-type of half-court guy, eschewing ball movement and and running off screens for a walk-it-up style. 

Also, he’s 38. 

Also, the hamstring/shoelace thing.

And we must address the “villain” angle.

You could make an argument that if we ran a Twitter poll before the trade, and asked Warriors fans to choose between a) Dillon Brooks; b) LeBron James; c) James Harden and d) Chris Paul for their “Least Favorite Non-Warrior In the Last Decade”, Paul might squeak out the win. And if he doesn’t, he would at least podium.

So how do you not HATE the idea of adding an aging, injury-prone, poor-fit villain? 

I know. It’s not an easy argument.


There are positives, sports fans. Trust me.

Number one, and this one is pretty wild, but: Jordan Poole is out of town.

Can’t believe I’m typing that sentence literally *twelve months* after he rolled down Market Street in shades, a ‘We Believe’-era Oakland POOLE jersey, with a stogie shoved in the side of an NBA Champions hat. He sprayed the adoring crowds with a squirt gun and champagne. He was four months away from inking a four-year, $140 million extension.

And now he’s a Washington Wizard.

Life — and turnovers — come at you fast.

It’s probably a whole ‘nother Jock Blog to get into the hows and whys Poole fell from favor so fast, starting with drawing a punch out of Draymond Green, and extending into shooting 34% from the field and 25% from distance in the playoff series vs. Sacramento and the Lakers.

But the Warriors found themselves in a financial pickle as soon as the final buzzer of Game 6 ended in L.A. They wanted to keep Draymond Green, who would opt out of his last year and seek a longer-term deal. They of course are paying Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins. Something had to give. 

Poole was the target. 

The question is, why bring Chris Paul in?

This, as we noted above, is the more complicated part.

But it’s intriguing. And that’s why I don’t hate it.

For all your personal feelings about Paul, he’s one of the best point guards of all time who is only one season removed from leading the NBA in assists. He played 65 and 59 games in each of the past two regular seasons. Those 124 regular season games are more than his North Carolina-raised buddy, Steph Curry, logged in the past two seasons (120), for what it’s worth.

If you’re a Player Effiency Rating type of fan, Paul was 63rd in the NBA last year. Poole was 116th. Just saying.

And then there’s the concept of “adults in the room”, as The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami was noting with us this morning. Paul undoubtedly makes the Warriors smarter, and he makes them smarter in late-game situations. Poole did not do this.

This is another intriguing aspect of the trade. Will two old Carolina heads like Curry and Paul be able to outfox teams in the final minutes, even giving away size and defense? Then again, Poole gave away size and defense, so who are we kidding here?

And of course, there’s the angle of Paul’s contract being able to go away after this season. The Warriors shed the Poole money, and only took on Paul’s money for one guaranteed year.

Most of all, Paul has the talent to help the team still make a run at the coveted Lacob championship-or-bust road. Yes, they’re old. Yes, they’re brittle. Yes, the whole “two timeline” plan is gone. They’re not only in ‘Win Now’ mode, they’re in ‘win NOW’ mode. We’re in ALL CAPS territory here, sports fans.

And that makes it intriguing. And that’s why I don’t hate it.

You may now resume throwing your objects at the Jock Blog.