The trade was officially completed in early July. The Wizards, who acquired Paul in the Bradley Beal blockbuster with the Suns, received guards Jordan Poole and Ryan Rollins, forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., the Warriors’ 2030 first-round pick (top-20 protected), Golden State’s 2027 second-round pick, and cash.
“The CP stuff developed over maybe a week or 10 days. That was not a long-term deal that we were working on,” Dunleavy said. “It happened fast. (But) I think this league, and this job is all about capitalizing on time horizons. And right now, we’re in the thick of a period where we feel like we can still contend, and we want to take advantage of that.”
The Warriors shed Poole’s four-year, $123MM+ contract in the deal. The 38-year-old Paul has a non-guaranteed $30MM contract for the 2024/25 season, and that factored into the decision to bring in the future Hall of Famer.
“Coming off a championship, you know, just two years ago, I think we all feel like we’re still right there,” Dunleavy said. “And so to make a move to bring in Chris was, I mean, some may see it as short-sighted, short-term. But yeah, it helps us win now and then it gives us some future financial flexibility.”
Dunleavy and other members of the front office began pondering whether to bring in Paul when the Suns considered waiving or buying him out before he was dealt to Washington. They initially thought of pursuing Paul if he was placed on waivers and became a free agent through that process. It eventually morphed into trade discussions with the Wizards.
“We identified him as a guy we thought could help our team. And the reason that was was just his experience, his leadership,” Dunleavy said. “We struggled last year and in years past with taking care of the ball. We struggled sometimes at the end of games with decision-making. So we felt like ‘Yeah, Chris is a little bit older. But he fits with our group, and he can help us in some areas that we’re deficient in. So it started to make sense.”
The team’s core players, including Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, quickly warmed to the idea of bringing in Paul, even though it may create some awkwardness with Curry and Green having been the team’s main play-makers for so many seasons.
“I don’t have a whole lot of worries about that,” Dunleavy said. “But I think just the common thread of competitiveness, intelligence and just being adults, those things make me believe that this thing can work out. I think for those guys, Draymond (and) Steph, especially, like you said, they’ve been through the wars with Chris for so many years and Chris the same way, that I think it came down to just that initial idea of it. There’s a little bit of a shock. And then once you settle in and think about it, and the ways that it would work, I think they quickly came back to, ‘This is kind of a no-brainer.’”