Even days later, the NBA world is trying to wrap its head around the Warriors’ blockbuster trade that sent Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards in exchange for veteran point guard Chris Paul.
While many try to make sense of the move, it really comes down to the business side of things. The basketball, on-court fit doesn’t matter as much because, contractually, it works out perfectly for Golden State.
Paul, entering his 19th NBA season, will be due $30.8 million in 2023-24, $15.8 million of which currently is guaranteed, per Spotrac. If no new contract is negotiated before June 28, the $30.8 million will become fully guaranteed. None of his salary for the 2024-25 season is guaranteed, and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent in 2025 at the age of 40.
Meanwhile, Poole signed a four-year contract extension worth $128 million before the 2022-23 season. His current deal is set to expire at the end of the 2026-27 NBA season.
The trade was less about Golden State parting ways with Poole and more about the team cutting ties with his hefty contract, which is vital for a team with challenging decisions on the horizon regarding the futures of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
Swapping Poole’s guaranteed money for a short-term commitment allows Golden State more leeway as Thompson and Green look to negotiate new contracts.
Of course, the risk for the Warriors is losing out on the potential of a young, rising star like Poole. But that’s a chance the Warriors were willing to take as they look to contend for a title now.