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The Washington Wizards are trading Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors for Jordan Poole and a package of draft picks, CBS Sports' Bill Reiter confirmed Thursday. That package will include Golden State's top-20 protected 2030 first-rounder as well as its 2027 second-round pick, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski

Paul never actually suited up for Washington, and was included in their blockbuster Bradley Beal trade with the Phoenix Suns over the weekend only as salary filler. As the Wizards are about to kick off a rebuild, they had no reason to keep Paul, and now the Warriors have given them a strong package to part with their recently acquired legend. According to Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes, the Warriors do not plan to waive Paul, whose contract is only partially guaranteed. 

In Poole, the Wizards are taking a chance on a player who, less than a year ago, received a four-year, $140 million extension from the Warriors. Last year, which began with teammate Draymond Green punching Poole at training camp, was a disappointment through that lens. 

Poole averaged 20.4 points per game, a new career high, but his defense remained problematic and he fell to just 10.3 points per game in the postseason. That $140 million extension made sense when the Warriors believed Poole was bound for stardom, but now, with the new CBA looming and the NBA's most expensive teams getting punished for their spending, the Warriors needed to find a way to save money for the long haul. Paul has only one year remaining on his contract, so he fits the bill.

Paul has been one of Golden State's most persistent rivals during the Stephen Curry era. His Clippers defeated the Warriors in the 2014 playoffs, but once Golden State hired Steve Kerr as its coach, the Warriors managed to beat Paul's Rockets in the 2018 and 2019 playoffs. Paul nearly got another shot at the Warriors in 2022, but his Suns were upset by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs, and the Warriors went on to win the championship.

Now Paul will join the Warriors as he attempts to win his first ring and they try to win their fifth of this era. It is an unlikely partnership to say the least, and for the first time in his career, Paul is now likely to come off of the bench. But the Warriors give him a genuine chance to win a title, and going to Golden State allows him to remain on the West Coast, where his family is and where he reportedly preferred to remain. As surprising as this trade looks on paper, it was seemingly a necessity for all parties involved.