Chris Paul’s pursuit of an NBA championship is taking him to the Golden State Warriors, after they agreed to the framework of a trade Thursday that will send Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The trade also includes a package of draft capital, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been finalized and approved by the NBA.
ESPN first reported the agreement was struck by the teams.
“I’m excited,” Paul, who is on a book tour, told The Charlotte Observer on Thursday. “I’m really excited.”
Paul also said that he’s already talked to Warriors star Stephen Curry. “It was good,” Paul said.
The Wizards agreed to acquire Paul from Phoenix last week, in the deal that sent Bradley Beal from Washington to the Suns.
Paul 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.
Poole, who turned 24 earlier this week, joins a Washington team now fully in the midst of a complete rebuild. He averaged 20.4 points this past season, one that began with Golden State veteran Draymond Green punching Poole at practice during training camp before taking a brief leave of absence from the team.
Green is set to become a free agent, one that the Warriors want to retain.