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Far-Fetched Friday: Chris Paul Won't Be on the Warriors Past Trade Deadline
By: Khaqan Khan
Everywhere Chris Paul has gone, he's made his team better. When you talk about culture for a franchise, Chris Paul brought the culture with him. Everywhere he's gone, it's been the Chris Paul show. Paul getting traded to the Warriors is the first situation where a team won't need him to be Chris Paul. Warrior brass will talk themselves into the trade as being "light years ahead," but this trade, however you spin it, is a weird fit. Not only from a basketball perspective but also from a personality standpoint. Which is why I think this experiment won't last long.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at at the Chris Paul trade.
Basketball-wise: Chris Paul, now 38, is at his best when he slows down the tempo to run PNR and get a read on the defense. He did play off-ball in Houston with James Harden, but that had him standing to the side while Harden did his thing. The Golden State offense is a whole other beat. Every play includes multiple actions that require multiple reads, all at a frantic pace. Chris Paul is certainly smart enough to learn the offense, but at his age, how much can you expect, especially if his 3pt shot continues to regress? It is not even a cheap jab to say the Golden State offense might destroy his hamstring.
The Warriors traded for one of their archnemesis over the last decade, who also happens to be the pettiest dude in the league. A guy, who can aggravate teammates everywhere he goes, will now play next to Draymond Green … The Warriors want Chris Paul to play second fiddle to Steph Curry, and Paul to be okay with it? Maybe this is their way of messing with Paul?
This is the first situation where the other players are above Paul in basketball status. The Golden State core has won it all, Paul hasn't. They beat Chris Paul on the way to winning. Seeing those rings has to sting. Human nature suggests Chris Paul's opinion will carry less weight than he's used to, and I'm not sure he'll be happy about it. To put it simply, Paul doesn't have his usual status. This is the first time Chris Paul will have to shut up. How long do we feel like that will last?
However, if this doesn't work for Paul, then this might be it. Out of desperation, he might put his ego aside to make this work.
The counterpoint is that Chris Paul, of the best point guards ever and one of the most intelligent players in the league, is playing with a chip on his shoulder, at where this might be his last chance for a ring. The Warriors only need him for May and June. Maybe he plays 15-20 minutes during the season.
What seems more likely? Paul being happy demoted to a veteran role player on the team that whopped his ass for a decade, or slowing down the Warriors, leading to uneasy tension in the locker room, thus leading to a trade? Don't be fooled- they will talk about how Chris Paul is bringing the best out of Draymond or something in training camp- don't believe it. This is the same team that traded D'Angelo Russell after a few months and the same franchise that said they moved on from the Jordan Poole-Draymond Green incident. Also, the same team that said the Draymond Green-Kevin Durant altercation was overblown, which we later found out from Durant himself was part of why he left. Let's not overthink this.
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