The Warriors shocked the NBA landscape when general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. traded for 38-year-old star guard Chris Paul earlier this summer.
Although it might be considered a head-scratching move for those not around the Warriors organization, Dunleavy doesn’t believe that’s the case.
“Yeah I mean I think honestly in a lot of ways, it was an easy move because I felt like it would make our team better and it gave us a decent amount of flexibility moving forward,” Dunleavy told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole and Dalton Johnson on the latest episode of the “Dubs Talk” podcast. “So to me, it wasn’t that tough.”
Dunleavy does admit the hardest part of the process was trading away 24-year-old guard Jordan Poole, who he’s seen develop and grow into the player he is today. Still, the Warriors general manager knew he had do to what was best for the organization.
“But it’s part of the business and again, to have an opportunity to address some needs and to clear up some financial relief, for me honestly, didn’t lose much sleep over that one,” Dunleavy added.
In terms of the timeline for the trade, Dunleavy revealed he hadn’t seriously considered adding Paul until he saw the Phoenix Suns were noncommittal about what they wanted to do with the guard’s contract.
“I thought about it, ‘Chris Paul would be great with us,’ ” Dunleavy said to Poole and Johnson. “I mean yeah, it’s a lot of money and we didn’t know how we could make it work and then he got moved to Washington and it was probably more of a pipe dream.”
Once the trade talks were initiated, Dunleavy shared that Golden State and Washington came to an agreement fairly quickly close to the 2023 NBA Draft, even though he hadn’t envisioned Paul playing in the Bay Area quite yet.
“But Chris Paul in a Warrior uniform, hadn’t really thought about it much other than a couple weeks before the trade and even then it was more of a, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great if this guy’s a free agent and we can get him on a minimum or something like that?’ ” Dunleavy pondered. “So yeah, it came together pretty quickly though.”
After the dust had settled and Paul officially was a Warrior, Dunleavy said it took a moment for Golden State’s veterans to fully accept the fact that one of their nemesis’s will now play alongside them.
“I think it was just initially it was excitement,” Dunleavy replied when asked what the team thought of the trade. “I think they had to digest it a little bit in terms of, ‘Chris Paul is the guy we’ve competed against in the playoffs and in the regular season, he was in our division, Clippers and Suns.’
“And I think that initial sort of shock, once that settled in, you’re like, ‘This guy is really going to help us, yeah, let’s do what we can to get him.’ And sure enough, we did.”
Earlier in the offseason, Draymond Green echoed Dunleavy’s sentiments, stating he can’t wait to play on the court with an “adult” like Paul, regardless of the role the 38-year-old will have on the Warriors.
And while many might not understand how Paul fits with Golden State just yet, Dunleavy has a vision. And it all started with a pipe dream.