Ryan Rollins

Central Notes: Haliburton, Mitchell, Rollins, Pistons

All-Star Game starter Tyrese Haliburton was heaped with praise during the festivities in Indianapolis and he’s humbled by it, James Boyd of The Athletic writes. Haliburton gave the home audience a thrill when he made five 3-pointers in less than two minutes during the first quarter of Sunday’s game.

“The respect that I’ve gained from my peers and legends means the world to me,” the Pacers‘ star guard said. “Where I’m from, that’s not really a thing. There’s no chance that they even know where Oshkosh, Wis., is, so it means the world to me. I just want to continue to keep doing what I’m doing and gaining people’s respect.”

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Doc Rivers has made a change to his coaching staff, as the Bucks have parted ways with assistant Nate Mitchell, Eric Nehm of The Athletic tweets. Mitchell was hired by former coach Adrian Griffin last summer after serving as an assistant under Nick Nurse with the Raptors.
  • Ryan Rollins‘ two-way contract with the Bucks is a two-year deal, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. Rollins signed the contract on Wednesday after the Wizards released him in January.
  • The impact of Simone Fontecchio and other recent additions to the Pistons’ roster will be one of the storylines to watch for the remainder of their season, according to Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press. Whether Cade Cunningham continues to put up strong numbers after a slow start is another thing to keep an eye on, Sankofa adds.

Ryan Rollins Signs Two-Way Contract With Bucks

FEBRUARY 21: The Bucks have officially announced Rollins’ two-way contract (Twitter link).

FEBRUARY 19: Free agent guard Ryan Rollins is signing a two-way contract with the Bucks, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter).

Rollins was selected 44th overall in the 2022 draft after two college seasons at Toledo. He only appeared in 12 games as a rookie last season with the Warriors, who traded him to the Wizards last summer as part of the Chris Paul/Jordan Poole deal.

The 21-year-old didn’t play much for Washington either, making 10 appearances for 66 total minutes in 2023/24 before the Wizards released him in January.

A few days later, it was reported that Rollins was accused of repeatedly shoplifting from a Target store in Virginia. He was charged with seven counts of petit larceny, which is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.

It’s unclear what came of his legal situation, as he had a court hearing scheduled for February. But evidently the Bucks felt comfortable taking a chance on Rollins, who was viewed as having defensive upside and an ability to create shots when he was drafted.

Milwaukee has a pair of two-way openings, so the team won’t have to release anyone to add Rollins.

Former Wizard Ryan Rollins Accused Of Repeated Shoplifting

Former Wizards guard Ryan Rollins, who is now a free agent after being waived by the team on Monday, has been accused of repeatedly shoplifting from a Target store in Virginia, reports Josh Robbins of The Athletic.

As Robbins details, police alleged in documents on file at Alexandria General District Court that Rollins stole small household items on seven different occasions between September and November.

The items stolen in each case – including groceries, body wash, and candles – were valued at less than $1,000, and the second-year guard has been charged with seven counts of petit larceny, Robbins adds. That’s considered a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.

Rollins, who was sent from Golden State to Washington in last summer’s Chris Paul/Jordan Poole trade, appeared in only 12 games for the Warriors as a rookie and wasn’t playing much for the Wizards either. The 2022 second-rounder averaged 4.1 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 6.6 minutes per game across 10 appearances for Washington, while also playing in nine games for the Capital City Go-Go.

Still, Rollins was viewed as a solid defender and was only 21 years old, with a guaranteed minimum salary ($1,719,864) this season and a $600K partial guarantee on his 2024/25 salary. The timing of his release raised some eyebrows, especially given the fact that the 6-31 Wizards can afford to be patient with their young players.

While it’s logical to assume the allegations against Rollins factored into his release, Robbins doesn’t explicitly say as much, and team president Michael Winger declined to confirm that.

“We just recently learned of the charges against Ryan. We cannot comment on that matter, or the basis for our roster decisions,” Winger said, before adding: “We do take our role very seriously as citizens of the DMV, representatives of our fans and a team our community can be proud of. These are expectations, not aspirations. We’re eager to move forward with our team as constituted and pursue excellence on and off the court.”

According to Robbins, a February court hearing has been scheduled for Rollins, who has yet to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Although he’s free to sign with any NBA team besides Golden State, the former Toledo standout may not get his next opportunity until his legal situation is resolved.

Wizards Waive Guard Ryan Rollins

10:45pm: The Wizards have officially waived Rollins, the team’s PR department tweets.

10:17pm: The Wizards are waiving guard Ryan Rollins, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets.

Rollins has appeared in 10 games with Washington, averaging 4.1 points in 6.6 minutes per night.

A second-round pick in 2022, Rollins played 12 games for Golden State last season. He was included in the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Warriors and brought Jordan Poole to Washington.

Rollins had a $1,719,864 salary this season. His deal wasn’t fully guaranteed beyond this season, but it included a $600K partial guarantee for 2024/25, according to Spotrac. The Wizards will be on the hook for that money unless he’s claimed on waivers.

Rollins hasn’t appeared in an NBA contest since Dec. 27. The Wizards are planning to replace him on the roster soon, perhaps with a player on a 10-day contract, according to Robbins.

Trade Breakdown: Chris Paul To The Warriors

This is the third entry in our series breaking down the significant trades of the 2023 offseason. As opposed to giving out grades, this series explores why the teams were motivated to make the moves. Let’s dive into a blockbuster deal between the Warriors and Wizards…

On July 6:

  • The Warriors acquired Chris Paul.
  • The Wizards acquired Jordan Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ryan Rollins, the Warriors’ 2030 first-round pick (top-20 protected), the Warriors’ 2027 second-round pick, and cash.
  • Note: The Wizards created a $3,344,643 traded player exception as part of this deal, which is the difference between Paul’s outgoing salary ($30,800,000) and the incoming salary of Poole ($27,455,357). Baldwin ($2,337,720) and Rollins ($1,719,864) were acquired via existing TPEs.

The Warriors’ perspective:

Poole being traded was seemingly inevitable as soon as the Warriors lost in the second round of the 2022/23 playoffs, with the young guard struggling mightily throughout the postseason. It had been clear for a while that it was probably going to come down to moving Poole or Draymond Green, whom the team re-signed to a four-year, $100MM contract in free agency.

The Warriors needed to reconfigure their chemistry and on-court results following an uneven attempt to repeat as champions last season. Instead of moving on from a core member of their dynasty, they traded Poole.

That really wasn’t much of a choice – Green has arguably been the best defensive player in the league over the past decade, helping Golden State reach six NBA Finals and win four championships, and Stephen Curry has referred to him as his favorite teammate.

Green has made plenty of poor decisions over the years – he’s annually one of the league leaders in technical fouls and has been suspended multiple times in the regular season and playoffs. Blowing up the Warriors’ season before it even began by punching a teammate he had previously mentored was a new low. And despite plenty of media grandstanding, he never publicly or privately apologized to Poole, according to Logan Murdock of The Ringer.

The organization has always catered to Green, as he didn’t even face punishment for the incident other than an undisclosed fine. Following a string of incidents in ’23/24, he received an indefinite suspension to (perhaps) address some of the underlying causes for his reckless behavior.

It’s worth noting that Green will make less money than Poole ($123MM+) over the next four years as well. Future payroll considerations played a significant factor in this deal, as owner Joe Lacob acknowledged in September.

The Warriors have had record-setting luxury tax bills for multiple years running, but Lacob has said they hope to be below the second tax apron in ‘24/25. Paul’s $30MM salary for ‘24/25 is non-guaranteed, while Poole will be in the second year of his rookie scale extension.

Even if Golden State wins the title in ‘23/24 – which is looking extremely unlikely at this point — I’d be shocked if the team guarantees Paul’s salary for next season. The only way that would make sense would be if the Warriors trade him for a roster upgrade in the offseason, but that would probably require taking on long-term money, which they’ve said they want to avoid.

That doesn’t mean the Warriors can’t try to re-sign Paul at a lower figure, assuming things turn around and he’s open to it. That would require a major discount though, as they’ll lose his Bird rights if they waive him — they’d likely be limited to offering him a minimum-salary deal unless they remove additional salary from their books.

The logic behind this trade made sense for the Warriors, but I’m sure it was painful to move Poole so soon after extending him, even if they view Paul as a short-term upgrade. That’s reasonable enough.

Paul is one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, earning 12 All-Star berths, 11 All-NBA nods, and nine All-Defensive spots over the course of his 18 seasons. He has led the league in steals per game six times and assists per game five times, with three of those seasons overlapping.

Despite being 38 years old, Paul remains a clear upgrade over Poole in several areas. He’s a better rebounder, and there’s not so much a gap as a chasm between Paul’s defense, decision-making, passing, and ability to take care of the ball compared to Poole’s. Paul is nicknamed “the Point God” for a reason.

Turnovers were a major problem for the Warriors in ‘22/23, with the team ranking 29th in the league with a 15.8% turnover percentage. Poole was a major contributor to that, averaging 3.1 turnovers per game — second-most on the team behind Curry — and posting a 1.46-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, slightly worse than his career mark (1.61-to-1).

Remarkably, Paul has had an assist-to-turnover ratio below 3-to-1 only once in his career – back in 2019/20 with OKC, when he shared ball-handling duties and was more focused on scoring. And even then, it was just barely under (2.93-to-1). For his career, he’s at 3.98-to-1. Last season: 4.6-to-1. So far in ‘23/24: 6-to-1.

While it’s true that the Warriors had to attach some marginal assets to move Poole’s long-term contract, this trade does show one of the fringe benefits of rookie scale extensions: Having his salary already locked in for ’24/25 meant that Golden State didn’t have to deal with restricted free agency or work out a sign-and-trade, which is much more complicated, especially for the league’s biggest spenders.

He has never won a title, but Paul’s teams have made the playoffs 15 times in his 18 years in the league, including the last 13 seasons in a row.

His elite basketball IQ undoubtedly remains, but Paul’s ability to create shots for himself and convert them at a high level has taken a step back. Through 21 games, he has a career-low true shooting percentage (53.2%) and usage rate (15.0%). Part of that is due to the team’s roster construction, but he also isn’t playing at the same level as he did a couple years ago.

Obviously, there are major injury concerns as well, and Poole was quite durable, appearing in 76 and 82 regular season games the past two years (compared to 65 and 59 for Paul).

The Warriors miss Poole’s ability to generate offense for himself, take on an increased scoring load when Curry misses time, and get to the free throw line – Golden State was dead last in free throw attempts per game in ‘22/23, and Poole led the team with 5.1 per contest (just ahead of Curry at 5.0).

After starting the season 5-1, the Warriors have gone 5-13 over their past 18 games and currently hold a 10-14 record. The majority of those defeats have been very competitive, with blowing leads an issue of late. Still, as the saying goes, a loss is a loss.

With Golden State in a tailspin, it would be easy to point the finger at a newcomer like Paul. But the Warriors have been markedly better when he’s on the court and much worse when he’s off, and advanced stats say he’s been one of the more impactful players on the team.

Paul has been spearheading the second unit, which has undergone a remarkable turnaround to this point – it’s actually the starting unit that has struggled in ’23/24, not the reserves. Last season was the total opposite, as the starters were the best five-man group in the NBA and the bench was a major liability.

Both Rollins and Baldwin missed chunks of their rookie seasons in ‘22/23 and didn’t play much at the NBA level when they were healthy. They almost certainly weren’t going to have rotation roles for the Warriors this season either. The 2027 second-rounder isn’t a significant asset on its own.

Trading the 2030 first-round pick stings, even if it’s heavily protected (it will turn into Golden State’s 2030 second-rounder if it doesn’t convey). The primary reason for that has less to do with the pick itself and more to do with the Stepien rule, which will prevent the Warriors from trading their own first-rounders in 2029 and 2031, at least once they’re able to (you can only trade picks seven years out).

Dealing three young players and marginal draft assets for a future Hall of Famer who is still effective but clearly in the twilight of his career showed that new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. is willing to make bold moves, particularly with an eye on future financial flexibility. I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Warriors trading Paul again this season either, depending on how they play in the next several weeks leading up to the deadline.

The Wizards’ perspective:

I admire Poole for two reasons. One, he’s a late first-round pick who struggled mightily early in his career, spent a lot of time in the G League, and then emerged as an important contributor on a championship team.

Two, I never once saw him publicly discuss last fall’s incident when he had every opportunity to throw Green and the Warriors under the bus. There are no “competitor” justifications for Green did – it was wrong, plain and simple.

Imagine being asked nearly every day about something terrible that happened to you, that millions of people witnessed via video, and you only take the high road. That says something about Poole as a person, regardless of what you think of him as player.

I can’t say I’ve ever been partial to Poole’s game. He’s undeniably talented, but flashy scorers who don’t play defense aren’t my cup of tea.

Paul didn’t fit the Wizards based on the position they’re currently in. Poole, Baldwin, Rollins and draft assets do.

As mentioned in a previous article, Paul was the primary salary-matching piece acquired in the Bradley Beal trade, so these two deals are directly connected. For the Wizards, this was about flipping Paul for as many assets as they could.

Is Poole even an asset right now? I would say no, he likely has negative value due to his declining play. But that doesn’t mean the reasoning for this trade was illogical at the time it was made.

It’s easy to overlook now that he’s no longer on the team, but Poole was a key member of the Warriors’ championship run in ’21/22, averaging 17.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists over 22 playoff games (27.5 minutes). He posted a .508/.391/.915 shooting line over that span for 65.4% TS – an elite mark. That’s a big part of why Golden State gave him the extension.

But the NBA is a “what have you done for me lately” league, and Poole struggled mightily last postseason, averaging more field goal attempts (10.4) than points (10.3) while his shooting rates dipped to .341/.254/.765 (a dreadful 44.7% TS) in 13 games (21.8 MPG). His apathetic defense, poor shot selection, questionable decision-making and inconsistency were issues throughout ‘22/23.

I thought Poole might have a turnaround with Washington in ‘23/24, and I wasn’t alone. In early August, one betting site had him as a way-too-early favorite for Most Improved Player.

Poole averaged 25.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 59.5% TS in 17 games with Curry sidelined in ‘21/22. He averaged 26.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.0 assists on 56.5% TS in 26 games with Curry injured last season. There were valid reasons to think he could put up big numbers this season.

I was wrong, and the Wizards’ gamble hasn’t paid off to this point. Poole has had a dreadful start to the season, with advanced stats indicating he has been one of the worst rotation regulars in the NBA – perhaps even the worst high-usage player in the league.

Poole’s numbers are down across the board — he has recorded fewer points, rebounds and assists per game in nearly the same amount of minutes as ‘21/22 and ‘22/23. His turnover rate is up and his assist rate is down. His efficiency has cratered, with his true shooting percentage down to 51.0%, compared to 58.4% over the last three seasons (for context, the league average TS in ’23/24 is 57.7%, but it’s nearly always a couple points lower for guards).

The Wizards are terrible. They’re 3-20, which remarkably is only tied for the second-worst record in the league.

Despite their overall ineptitude, there’s still no sugarcoating how poorly Poole has played in his 22 games. His net rating differential is a ghastly minus-19.9. When he’s off the court, the team actually has a (slightly) positive net rating – he’s the only player on the roster who holds that distinction.

Rollins has only played 49 minutes for the Wizards; Baldwin is at 36. You can’t draw any conclusions from sample sizes that small. They’re young, on relatively inexpensive contracts, and may or may not develop into useful NBA players.

Given Poole’s poor play and pricey long-term deal, the lack of roles for Rollins and Baldwin, and the fairly modest draft assets the Wizards acquired for Paul, you could argue the early return hasn’t been great for the Wizards. However, that’s only a small part of the bigger picture.

Beal’s contract is far more onerous than Poole’s, as he’s owed $208MM over the next four years and has a full no-trade clause. And he’s only played five games in ‘23/24 so far due to a back injury.

Beal, 30, had no place in a rebuild. Nor did Paul, whom the Suns reportedly considered waiving before making a high-risk, high-reward trade for Beal.

In total, when combining the two trades, the Wizards received Poole, Baldwin, Rollins, Landry Shamet, a top-20 protected first-rounder, four first-round swaps, seven second-round picks (one was sent to Indiana) and cash for Beal.

Poole is only 24 and doesn’t have a no-trade clause. Some of those pick swaps could be valuable in the future. Second-round picks can be useful, for trades and for finding diamonds in the rough. They could probably flip Shamet into another second-rounder or two if they want to move him.

The Wizards accomplished their overall goal of acquiring assets while getting younger and focusing on player development. Time will tell if they’re able to turn into a winning franchise, but they’ve been stuck in NBA purgatory for decades, and needed to get worse before they had a chance at getting better.

Southeast Notes: Magic, Fultz, Rollins, M. Williams

Magic players were calculating their chances of advancing out of the East’s Group C after beating the Celtics on Friday to improve to 3-1 in the in-season tournament, writes Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel. Paolo Banchero admitted the team wasn’t fully focused on the tourney when it lost its opening game against Brooklyn, but the attitude has been different in three straight victories against Chicago, Toronto and Boston.

Orlando has a strong shot at winning its group and reaching the knockout round, but things could still change on Tuesday, Beede adds. The Magic will advance if the Nets lose to the Raptors or if the Celtics beat the Bulls by fewer than 23 points while Brooklyn wins by fewer than 14.

“You want to go to Vegas (for the semifinals and finals), right? You want to compete,” Moritz Wagner said. “You can tell people care. It’s really cool and it kind of tests us early, how poised are we in those last three minutes (and) how focused are you in the beginning of the year. I’ve really enjoyed it, honestly.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz will miss his ninth straight game on Sunday against Charlotte, Beede tweets. Fultz hasn’t played since November 9 because of tendinitis in his left knee, although he recently resumed individual workouts. Fultz began the season as Orlando’s starting point guard, but he has only been healthy for five games.
  • Ryan Rollins will be evaluated weekly for a right knee strain, the Wizards announced via Twitter. The second-year guard has missed the past two games, and the team explained that it is opting to handle the injury conservatively. Rollins has appeared in eight games, averaging 4.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 6.1 minutes per night.
  • Hornets center Mark Williams has been one of the early surprises of the 2023/24 season, per Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Heading into Wednesday night, Charlotte was 22.6 points per 100 possessions better when Williams was on the court. He’s averaging 13.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game and has formed a connection with LaMelo Ball that is helping him shoot better than 70% within five feet of the basket. Coach Steve Clifford believes Williams can expand his offense to eventually become a three-point threat. “Then the big key for him offensively is running the floor, screening, rolling, and eventually, he’ll be a three-point shooter,” Clifford said. “I don’t have any questions about that. I don’t know if it’ll be here early in the year. This is where the thumb injury set him back a little bit. But he’s a lot more instinctive offensively than I realized when we first got him.”

Southeast Notes: Bridges, Thor, Rollins, Hampton

Miles Bridges turned himself in on Friday on the January arrest warrant that had yet to be served, reports Steve Reed of The Associated Press. The 25-year-old appeared before a district court judge in Lincoln County (a Charlotte suburb) and was released on $1,000 bond.

Bridges, who was with the Hornets in Washington D.C. on Thursday night, turned himself in early Friday morning, Reed writes.

The Hornets forward is accused of “unlawfully” and “knowingly” violating a 10-year domestic violence protective order that stems from a case last year in which he entered a plea of no contest to one felony count of injuring a child’s parent. The warrant also states that Bridges “continually contacted the victim,” according to Reed.

The separate criminal summons Bridges is facing for allegedly violating the protective order, misdemeanor child abuse and injury to personal property is still outstanding; the 25-year-old is due in court for that matter on November 13.

Here’s more from the Southeast:

  • Hornets forward JT Thor, whose $1.84MM contract for 2023/24 is non-guaranteed, had a strong summer and could be primed for a breakout year, according to Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer. “He’s been amazing,” Terry Rozier said. “It’s no surprise, but it’s been talked about among all the peers about how great he’s been and how much time he’s put in this summer. And it’s just good to see. He’s one of the guys that never complained and always trying to get better since he came in the league. He never complained about things, always took things as a challenge and got better every day. And it’s now starting to show. And that’s all you can ask for in this league, is you try to get as much as you can out of it and then when your time comes you are ready for the opportunity. And I think it’s going to be a good year for him.” Thor was the 37th overall pick in 2021.
  • Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. thinks second-year guard Ryan Rollins has “elite” defensive potential, per Chase Hughes of Monumental Sports Network. Rollins, a 2022 second-rounder who was traded to Washington from Golden State this summer, concurs with Unseld’s assessment. “I appreciate that,” he said. “I feel the same way. I’ve got a very long wingspan and I love to play defense. You put the mentality with the physical attributes that I have, I mean, why not?
  • Guard RJ Hampton, who is on a two-way deal with the Heat, sustained a right hamstring strain during warmups on Friday evening and was ruled out prior to Miami’s preseason game against San Antonio, tweets Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. We’ll have to wait for more updates on the severity of the injury.

Warriors, Wizards Officially Complete Chris Paul, Jordan Poole Trade

The Wizards have officially traded point guard Chris Paul to the Warriors, completing a deal that was first reported on draft day. The Warriors confirmed the move in a press release (Twitter link).

In exchange for Paul, Washington 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, per a Wizards announcement.

One of the most accomplished point guards in NBA history, Paul holds career averages of 17.9 points, 9.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game on .472/.369/.870 shooting in 1214 regular season appearances across 18 NBA seasons. His 13.9 PPG in 2022/23 represented a career low, but he still shot the ball well (.440/.375/.831) and contributed 8.9 APG, 4.3 RPG and 1.5 SPG in 59 regular season contests.

In Golden State, CP3 will team up with Warriors stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in search of his first NBA championship. Golden State will also create long-term cap flexibility in the deal by replacing Jordan Poole’s four-year, $123MM+ extension with Paul’s pseudo-expiring $30.8MM contract. Paul is under contract for 2024/25 too, but his $30MM salary for that season is non-guaranteed.

The Wizards, who initially acquired Paul from the Suns in their Bradley Beal blockbuster, will roll the dice on Poole and a pair of 2022 draftees while also securing a pair of draft assets in the deal.

Because draft picks can’t be protected more than seven years out, the Warriors’ top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick won’t roll over to 2031 if it doesn’t convey in ’30. The exact terms of the protection aren’t yet known, but I expect Washington will instead receive Golden State’s 2030 second-rounder if that first-rounder lands in the top 20.

You can read more about this trade in our initial June report.

Warriors Trading Jordan Poole To Wizards For Chris Paul

The Warriors are trading Jordan Poole and future draft picks to the Wizards for Chris Paul, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

Golden State has no plans to waive Paul, and the two sides are looking forward to working together, sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links), Golden State will be sending Washington a protected 2030 first-rounder and a 2027 second-rounder, along with Ryan Rollins, who was a second-round pick last year.

[UPDATE: The Wizards also reportedly receiving Patrick Baldwin.]

The 2030 first-round pick is top-20 protected, per ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link), and those protections can’t be pushed to 2031 since the pick is already seven years out. That means there’s a zero percent chance that the Wizards will get a top-20 selection from the Warriors. The pick seems likely to turn into a 2030 second-rounder if it falls within its protected range, though that has yet to be confirmed.

Rollins’ $1.7MM salary for ’23/24 was fully guaranteed, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic, and removing him from the books will open up a roster spot, likely for a veteran. The former Toledo guard’s ’24/25 salary is partially guaranteed at $600K.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports was first to report (via Twitter) that Golden State was actively discussing a Poole trade. Fischer heard the Wizards tried to land Golden State’s first-round pick in tonight’s draft — No. 19 overall — as part of the trade, but the Warriors were able to keep it.

As John Hollinger of The Athletic notes (Twitter link), the trade will have to be finalized in July when Poole’s four-year, $125MM extension kicks in, as Poole is currently on the last year of his rookie contract. Poole is currently subject to the poison pill provision due to the difference between his 2022/23 and ’23/24 salaries.

Paul’s $30.8MM contract for ’23/24 is expected to be fully guaranteed as part of his initial trade from Phoenix to Washington, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks. It had previously only been guaranteed for $15.8MM. However, Paul’s $30MM salary for ’24/25 is fully non-guaranteed.

While the Warriors have been linked to Paul in the past, it’s still a shocking turn of events to shed Poole’s contract for a 38-year-old future Hall-of-Famer. Despite being known for his incredible basketball IQ, Paul’s teams typically play in a slow, methodical style, which doesn’t seem like an obvious fit with Golden State’s motion offense.

The deal is yet another indication that the Warriors are abandoning their “two timeline” plan to develop their young players alongside their veterans and instead are going all-in on the present. The club traded former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman in February in order to reacquire Gary Payton II, who had signed with Portland in free agency last summer.

According to Slater (Twitter link), the Warriors are placing a big bet on their medical staff, led by Rick Celebrini. Paul has a lengthy injury history, including sustaining a groin strain during the postseason, which sidelined him for four games in Phoenix’s second-round exit to the Nuggets.

Poole, the 28th pick of the 2019 draft, struggled mightily as a rookie for Golden State, but he turned a corner in the second half of year two, which lead to a breakout third season. He averaged 18.5 PPG, 4.0 APG and 3.4 RPG on .448/.364/.925 shooting during the ’21/22 regular season, playing a key role off the bench in helping the Warriors win their fourth title in eight seasons.

However, his ’22/23 season was derailed before it even started after being punched by Draymond Green in training camp. There was an awkwardness between them for the remainder of the season, and while Poole showed flashes of scoring brilliance, he also frustrated with turnovers, decision-making, and poor shot selection. Poole averaged 20.4 PPG, 4.5 APG and 2.7 RPG on .430/.336/.870 shooting during the regular season, but was ice cold in the playoffs, averaging just 10.3 PPG and 3.5 APG on .341/.254/.765 shooting.

Poole is still only 24 years old, so the Wizards will be gambling on him returning to his previous upward trajectory. They’ll also pick up some marginal draft assets as part of the deal for taking on his long-term contract.

Paul, one of the most accomplished point guards in league history, holds career averages of 17.9 PPG, 9.5 APG, 4.5 RPG and 2.1 SPG on .472/.369/.870 shooting in 1214 regular season games across 18 NBA seasons. While he was still effective in ’22/23, he also averaged a career-low 13.9 PPG to go along with 8.9 APG, 4.3 RPG and 1.5 SPG on .440/.375/.831 shooting in 59 regular season games.

Warriors’ Ryan Rollins To Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

Ryan Rollins‘ rookie season is expected to come to an early end, according to the Warriors, who announced in a press release that the first-year guard is undergoing surgery to repair a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

The procedure, which is scheduled to take place this Wednesday, will likely keep Rollins sidelined for the remainder of the 2022/23 season, according to the team.

The 44th overall pick in the 2022 draft, Rollins appeared in just 12 games this season for the Warriors and played a very limited role, scoring 23 points in 62 total minutes.

Rollins averaged 18.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 3.6 APG for Toledo as a sophomore last season before declaring for the draft as an early entrant. Golden State sent $2MM in cash to Atlanta during the draft to move up from No. 51 to No. 44 to nab him.

However, Rollins’ rookie season got off to an ominous start when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot shortly after being drafted. The injury, which was discovered during a medical evaluation that was part of Rollins’ on-boarding process, affected the same bone that he’s now undergoing surgery on.

Rollins’ three-year contract with the Warriors includes a fully guaranteed minimum salary for 2023/24, so he’s on track to remain on the club’s roster for next season.