A former Warriors' historically bad start proves that Golden State dodged a bullet

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors have had their fair share of early-season problems, including going 2-6 in their last eight games, a struggling Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green's suspension. Despite that, their biggest offseason move appears to have worked out well in Golden State's favor.

Former Warriors guard Jordan Poole was traded to the Washington Wizards this past summer in a deal for Chris Paul. Initially, that trade was viewed as a mistake for the Warriors, who, in an effort to get off of Poole, moved a future first and acquired a 38-year-old point guard who was a questionable fit. However, a month into the new season, the Warriors clearly made the right call.

Despite his bigger role in Washington, Poole hasn't put up the numbers that many were expecting him to. Meanwhile, Paul has been an asset to the Warriors' bench, providing them with a gifted playmaker who can generate high-percentage shots when Steph Curry is on the bench.

Contrast that with Poole's wild shot selection, streaky shooting, baffling decision-making, and awful defense, and Golden State definitely isn't missing Poole.

How the Warriors dodged a bullet by moving Jordan Poole.

With Washington looking to turn the corner from the Bradley Beal era, they used Chris Paul's contract to acquire Poole in hopes that he would thrive in a bigger role. That hasn't happened; in fact, he is currently playing worse in Washington, averaging 17.1 points per game on 49.8% true shooting.

Compare that to 20.4 points on 57.3% true shooting last season, and it seems clear that the Warriors actually sold high on Poole despite his many struggles. With Curry still playing at a high level and Poole being a net-negative player on a big contract, the Warriors knew that he didn't have a future with the team. Therefore, they rightly offloaded his 4-year, $140 million contract just before it became toxic and got a proven winner in CP3 back in return.

Paul has had a positive impact on every one of his seven NBA stops, particularly on younger players, and the Warriors front office likely took that into account when trading for him. Especially with recent lottery picks such as Jonathan Kunimga and Mosses Moody, as well as this year's draft picks Brandon Poziemski and Trace Jackson-Davis.

All in all, Poole's play in Washington confirms that the Warriors were right to move him when they did. Better yet, they have a player in Paul who can help bolster their bench and serve as a mentor to younger players.