Trading for Jordan Poole
After acquiring Chris Paul from the Phoenix Suns as part of the Bradley Beal trade, the Washington Wizards wasted no time rerouting Paul to the Golden State Warriors. This made sense in theory. Chris Paul is a 38-year-old point guard who didn’t fit the timeline or the vision of the Washington Wizards. Plus, he was due $30 million per year for the next two seasons.
Therefore, moving on from Paul and his bad contract without having to tack on additional assets in a trade seemed like a clear win at the time. The Wizards sent Paul to Golden State in exchange for Jordan Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr, Ryan Rollins, a 2027 second-round pick, and a top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick.
However, Poole’s performance through the first 22 games of the season made this trade look much worse for the Wizards than initially expected. Poole has been one of the most disappointing players in the NBA, and his four-year, $128 million contract is one of the worst deals in the league right now. On top of that, Baldwin Jr and Rollins haven’t shown anything so far in a Wizards uniform. The 2030 first-round pick is so far out, and so heavily protected that it’s hard to get excited about.
The Wizards would have been better off if they held onto Paul. He has been playing well off the bench for the Warriors, and he is probably a better basketball player than Poole. Even if Washington only kept Paul until the trade deadline and moved him or bought him out then, they would likely be in a better spot. They would have clearer books and more financial flexibility instead of being stuck with Jordan Poole’s albatross of a contract and poor on-court performance.