3 moves Warriors need to make to keep up with Suns after Bradley Beal trade

Draymond Green, Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors (Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports)
Draymond Green, Bradley Beal, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors (Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports) /
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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Move Warriors need to make to keep up with Suns: Trade Jordan Poole

The two timelines live on in Moses Moody, but the Warriors’ youth movement takes another hit with Jordan Poole’s exodus. It feels necessary — maybe even inevitable. The conflict between Poole and Draymond Green irreparably damaged the Warriors’ chemistry last season. While that altercation was entirely Green’s fault, he is simply far too important to lose. The Warriors should move on from Poole if the market is robust enough.

Poole still has tantalizing upside as a movement shooter and microwave scorer on the perimeter. Last season’s struggles can’t completely wipe out his remarkable run during the Warriors’ 2022 championship run. That said, Poole was borderline unplayable in the 2023 ‘offs. His defense was unforgivably porous and he simply couldn’t make up for it with shot-making the second time around.

The Warriors are set to pay Poole $128 million over the next four years. That contract has already aged like milk. He’s only 23, so maybe the doomsaying is premature, but Poole doesn’t really fit into a backcourt consisting of Stephen Curry and past-prime Klay Thompson. The Warriors would be wise to break his contract into smaller, more manageable chunks.

If Golden State can squeeze a couple legitimate veteran contributors out of Poole, that would be a massive victory. Kuminga probably has more value when it comes to moving up on draft night, but there ought to be a team out there willing to bet on Poole’s deft handles and shooting dynamism long-term.

The Rockets are rapidly losing steam in the James Harden pursuit. Let’s say Houston digs wing Cam Whitmore instead of guard Amen Thompson with the No. 4 pick in next week’s NBA Draft. Why not kick the tires on Poole as a 3-point bombing, movement shooting backcourt partner next to the driving dynamo that is Jalen Green? The Sengun-Poole two-man game would be bonkers-level fun, if nothing else.

For the Warriors, Kevin Porter Jr. is slightly bigger, slightly better in the playmaking department, and cheaper. He has been shrouded in character concerns for essentially his entire career, but hey, maybe that championship culture can break through. Jae’Sean Tate would be an immediate impact player in the Golden State second unit. Plus, more draft capital as the cherry on top.

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