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HomeSportsWarriors' Jordan Poole-Chris Paul trade is ultimate sports rarity

Warriors’ Jordan Poole-Chris Paul trade is ultimate sports rarity

This past summer, the Warriors and Wizards pulled off a true rarity in sports.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of a trade being called a “win-win.”
Well, the Warriors’ trade of Jordan Poole to the Wizards for Chris Paul was a lose-lose.
Poole and the Wizards will come to San Francisco for the first and only time this season on Friday, and while I don’t believe either team has a regret over the trade, neither team can honestly claim to be all that happy, either.
Seriously, who is this trade working for at the moment?
Ultimately, there’s a long way to go this season and in Poole’s career. It’d be ridiculous to think that the events of the last two-plus months of the regular season will extrapolate into perpetuity.
And it was still right that the Warriors and Poole broke up — their relationship had no future.
But just because that relationship needed to end doesn’t mean their respective rebounds are working for them, either.
For the Wizards and Poole, this season has been a disaster. Washington has four wins in its first 26 games.
To contextualize just how bad that is, the Detroit Pistons have lost 24 straight games going into Thursday. The Wizards have two more wins than them. Woof.
Poole came to Washington with a desire to have his “own team.”
Be careful what you wish for.
Poole might have thought he’d be the man in Washington, but his numbers are indiscernible from what he posted in Golden State last season — roughly 30 minutes and 15 shots per game.
Except this season, Poole is shooting worse, fouling more, assisting less, and averaging three fewer points per game.
Poole is getting more attention this season, though. Yes, from defenses, but also social media.
I never said attention was a good thing.
Poole has become an internet darling in Washington for all the wrong reasons. He’s more a meme than a basketball player these days. The herky-jerky guard is good for a couple of Shaqtin’ A Fool moments a week, and the mean, cruel people on the internet don’t miss one. The most recent was when he slipped on a sweat puddle he’d created moments earlier while trying to draw a foul.
So yeah, it’s going great.
Meanwhile, the Warriors might be on a three-game winning streak, but that’s hardly to say that everything is hunky-dory in San Francisco. Draymond Green’s suspension (who could have seen that coming?) has put a pall over everything the Dubs do.
When the Warriors traded Poole, it was, in part, because they were dead set on re-signing Green. With Steph Curry’s help, the team made a choice; they went with the veteran.
But now Green has gone from punching teammates to punching opponents on the floor. TMZ leaks aside, it’s better when you can keep your drama in-house.
And most nights, the Warriors still lack a secondary scorer — someone who can reliably put in 20 points.
At least we won’t have to see the most awkward interaction possible on the court on Friday since Green isn’t allowed to be in the building for Warriors games.
And while Paul has been the consummate teammate and professional — he deserves immense credit for the leadership he has shown with the Warriors’ young players — it’s impossible to ignore how poorly he’s shot the ball this season. He has gone from 13.9 points per game last season to 8.5 this year.
The Warriors need him to score.
At least Paul seems happy. Even a half-season in Washington might have broken his spirit. He deserved better than that. Playing with Steph Curry has given the veteran a bit of extra pep in his step, though it hasn’t given his 3-pointers enough lift — Paul is shooting 31 percent from beyond the arc and 39 percent from the floor.
Paul’s position as the king of not turning the ball over has not fixed the Warriors’ issues there: They still have given away the league’s fifth most turnovers this season.
Then there’s the issue of Warriors fans either having to pretend (bad) or celebrating (so much worse) Paul’s flopping and foul-baiting.
Who knew the price of one’s soul was so cheap?
Are the Warriors better off without Poole? Maybe. The Dubs have more financial flexibility moving forward, so that’s good.
Is Poole better off without the Warriors? It sure doesn’t seem like it.
I don’t expect Poole and the Warriors to get back together anytime soon.
But for one night, both parties might be wondering if the other was the one who got away.

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