“We’re Trying To Win Next Year, And CP Can Help Us Do That” | Warriors Superstar Stephen Curry Opens Up On Team Trading Jordan Poole For Former Nemesis Chris Paul

The Golden State Warriors are coming off a six-game series loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.

In that series and for the playoffs as a whole, guard Jordan Poole didn’t play well. Poole, fresh off of helping the Warriors to their fourth championship in the last nine seasons, was rewarded with a four-year, $128M extension that takes effect this season.

Poole, who was also on the receiving end of a vicious Draymond Green punch during the team’s training camp last October, never really seemed to get his footing all season. 

In fact, head coach Steve Kerr has reiterated that the fisticuffs between Poole and Green drove a wedge between the team for the entire season.

Why Trade Poole?

And, maybe that’s why new GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. decided to trade Poole last week. The confrontation with Draymond and the poor playoff performance still lingers, but a clear objective of the trade was also to get Poole’s contract off the books for a team that would have owed $276 million in luxury taxes for having an estimated $492 million team salary for next season. 

As if trading Poole wasn’t surprising enough, who they traded him for was just as shocking. Enter longtime Steph Curry and Warriors nemesis Chris Paul, whom Green has admitted he respects but pretty much can’t stand. In essence, it’s sort of like how teams and players feel about the loquacious Green, who at least for now is not on the Warriors roster himself after declining his $27.6 million player option this month. 

Steph Curry Opens Up On Big Trade

Warriors superstar Steph Curry had not had much to say since the trade until he recently sat down with Anthony Slater of The Athletic to discuss the roster change and why the Dubs made such a strange move. 

“The business is crazy,” Curry said. “We all know that. If you asked us six months ago if this was something that could happen, the answer would’ve probably been no just based on where we were. Then you get to the summer and are trying to find ways to get better and put yourself in position to chase another championship. Every team that CP has been on gets better. That’s the most consistent thing on him and who he is and what he brings to the team. Everybody’s going to talk about the age. It’s on us to put that all together and figure out how all these pieces work.”

“You hate losing JP. I know it’s not all the way official yet. So I don’t want to talk too much before it is. But that’s the tough part of the business, seeing a young guy come into his own, and then get traded. It’s a great opportunity for him. It’s just you get to know someone like that, build a friendship, build a bond, it’s tough to see him go. But, you know, we’re trying to win next year and CP can help us do that.”

Can Old Man CP3 Stay Healthy?

That’s true as far CP making teams better. That’s long been his MO, from New Orleans to the Clippers, Rockets, Thunder and Suns, CP3’s impact has been huge, but his health has failed him time and time again, costing him many opportunities to win that elusive title. The Warriors feel he can help them capitalize on Curry’s final few years more than Poole, who just helped them win their most unlikely title of their recent four a year ago. 

Will CP3 Make Warriors Better?

For years the Warriors have pretty much played Steph Curry off the ball in a non-traditional point guard role, allowing him to hunt shots. That’s when the Warriors are at their best, but in the series loss to the Lakers they made him play more of a traditional point guard role, which he’s more than capable of. 

But in doing so it affected his offense, and especially in the big moments. He looked dead tired at the end of a huge Game 4 loss when he missed a game-winning three over Anthony Davis. The Lakers’ strategy was to play off it Draymond, who isn’t a scorer, and chase Curry and Klay Thompson off the three-point line. The aforementioned Poole was supposed to be the other scoring threat and playmaking threat to offset how the Lakers were playing defense. Outside of a big Game 1, he never showed up, in effect putting added pressure on Curry. 

That’s exactly where CP3 is an upgrade, because he’ll set the table and score from the midrange out to the three-point line, something Green just doesn’t give them and Poole failed to give them in 2022-23. 

Regular-season CP3 isn’t the issue, it’s the playoff version that never seems to be available.

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