Warriors’ Draft Moves Bludgeon Expectations


The Warriors made three significant, roster-altering moves on a busy NBA draft day last Thursday.

They made one of the loudest trades in recent history. In a three-team deal, the Warriors sent Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollins, a protected first-round pick in 2030, and 2027 second-round pick to Washington for Chris Paul. Paul was in the blockbuster deal that sent Bradley Beal to the Suns, and now he finds himself in Golden State.

Getting Into the Numbers

According to, Poole is set to make $27.4M & $29.6M this year and next, respectively. Firstly, part of the allure for making this deal is getting off of a hefty contract. Given Poole’s play in the playoffs and most of the regular season this past year, it was clear that his playstyle was not maximizing the team’s championship window. Moreover, his erratic decision making and poor shot selection sabotaged the team in many situations.

Chris Paul‘s current salary numbers are not fully guaranteed. Per Spotrac, the $30M he is set to make during the 2024-25 season is guaranteed on June 28, 2024. This means he is still going to be a tradeable expiring contract after this season. Overall, the trade is both a money-saving move as well as a shift in the team’s on-court approach.

Was the Trade a “Salary Dump”?

The move seems like it at a glance. The Warriors traded a young, skillful score-first guard. They got an aging, undersized guard in return. However, the basketball fit of Paul on the Warriors is solid. He won’t start, but he will be the stabilizing force off the bench. The Warriors lacked that kind of presence since the likes of Shaun Livingston and a healthy Andre Iguodala were on the team.

Paul is a future first-ballot hall-of-fame selection. He will have the responsibility of managing the team when Curry is getting his rest.

The Warriors gave this responsibility to Poole last year after his breakout season in 2022. In Dunleavy’s introductory press conference, he said, “You can make an argument last year we were too young in some ways”. Poole is not the type of player that the team needed to run the bench unit. He was asked to be the facilitator for other young players.

Paul is capable of being that player the team has missed. He has never averaged less than 31.4 minutes per game in his career. He will be responsible for getting guys into the right spots and keeping the game in balance within 20-to-25 minutes most nights. There is also potential for Paul to play along the starters.

Paul’s Fit On & Off the Court

First off, Paul fits the timeline for Curry and the rest of the veterans. One of Curry’s greatest skills aside from shooting is his ability to move without the basketball, and having another intelligent ball-handler opens up the offensive end of the floor. For the bench, Paul’s presence as a playmaker will help guys like Moses Moody, a reliable wing shooter, and Jonathan Kuminga, a high-flying forward.

Paul has his patented mid-range pull-up for reliable self-created offense. According to, Paul has the fourth-highest mid-range percentage in a season from the last 25 seasons. Moreover, he will have a lot of space to get the shot off if both Curry and Thompson are on the floor at the same time.

His ability to find teammates open for shots all over the court will be a component their bench has been lacking for several years. He will be another voice young players can seek advice or learn from. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green can’t be the veteran voice and be the stars of the team 100 percent of the time. Teams desperately need a trustworthy player to help the young players on the team. In the past, this role was filled by Iguodala and David West.

The Warriors’ Draft Picks

Brandin Podziemski – Santa Clara

At No. 19, the Warriors selected Brandin Podziemski. The 6’4 guard finished his sophomore season averaging 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game. With trading Poole and most likely losing Donte DiVincenzo in free agency this summer, the Warriors secured a guard whose shooting capability and feel for the game should translate pretty quickly at the NBA level.


Podziemski is an incredible shooter, especially when it comes to shooting off the catch. He shot 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, and he had a balance of standstill and off the dribble threes. In his introductory interview, Podziemski mentioned he grew up trying to model his game from Manu Ginobili, another fellow left-handed hooper.

Podziemski can finish in a variety of ways in the mid-range and around the basket. He has floaters, step-throughs, scoops and more in his layup package. Overall, his touch and ability to put the ball in the basket is his greatest attribute.

The 8.8 rebounds per game is a stat that jumps off the page. I’m not certain this will translate to the NBA, but it does show he was active and put in effort on that end. Any sign that he can be more than just an offensive player is a positive.

For a main ball-handler, the 3.7 assists per game is not a particularly high number, but he did show plenty of evidence that his passing feel will be a strength of his. He’s able to make quick decisions out of the pick and roll and as a secondary playmaker. This skill will raise his ceiling if he’s able to develop it even more.


One of the biggest weaknesses is his lack of burst or athleticism. This poses important questions to how his play on both ends can translate. He was a transfer at Santa Clara and started his college career at Illinois, where he was not able to get minutes. In his freshman year, he only played 16 games with about 4.3 minutes per game, according to He flourished after transferring to a smaller school in a less-talented conference.

His size and frame combined with a lack of athleticism is an issue. Podziemski is not quick enough to guard ones, and not tall enough to guard up to twos and threes. If it is a glaring issue at the NBA level, it will severely lower his chances to stick on NBA teams. He will have to scrap his way to be average on defense. Along with being that size with a lack of athleticism, it will affect his ability to produce off the dribble. This poses the question on how his body can develop to help aide these weaknesses.


Podziemski fits into what the Warriors want to do offensively. He is a smart, skilled guard that can spread the floor and do a bit of playmaking. The rookie could possibly get minutes throughout the season since he’s backing up two guards in their late thirties. Defensively, he will be a work in progress. It does not look promising when watching the tape, but any player that puts in the effort can find themselves in an NBA rotation.

Trayce Jackson-Davis – Indiana

At the end of the draft, the Warriors traded Patrick Baldwin Jr. to the Wizards to acquire the 57th selection. With that pick, they selected Trevor Jackson-Davis out of Indiana University. He has a proven track record of being a highly productive player in the Big 10 Conference. The Warriors went for an older prospect that has translatable NBA skills and physical attributes. The 6’9 forward averaged 20.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.9 blocks per game in his senior season.


Jackson-Davis is an uber-athletic forward with real NBA size. He was an efficient scorer in the paint as a pick-and-roll roll-man, shooting 56.5 percent for his career. Most of his shots came from inside the paint. He had plenty of vicious slams and athletic finishes on lobs. His motor on both ends will be a trait that keeps him in NBA rotations.

With his athleticism and physical tools, he can be a forward/center that can guard multiple positions, especially out in space. He has a 7’1 wingspan and 36.5 inch max vertical leap, according to the NBA Combine. He also showed his skills as the hub of an offense. The 4.0 assists per game is something the Warriors saw that could be used in their offense, like Draymond or Kevon Looney.

Jackson-Davis tweeted about dropping very far in the draft on Thursday night. He was No. 27 on The Ringer’s big board by Kevin O’Connor, and was consistently mocked to go late in the first round or early second round.

It’s cliché, but players with vendettas against the league are nice to have.


Offensively, Jackson-Davis does not have the touch teams would want an undersized five to have. A lot of his finishes come from his physical advantages in college. How quickly he can adapt to legitimate NBA size in the paint will be something to watch. He at least has some level of vertical spacing on pick and rolls. In his four years, he attempted three shots beyond the arc.

Defensively, he is a “tweener”. You would think his post defense is somewhat translatable given his physical tools, but he struggled to contain bigger centers on the block or on the glass. Again, the blocks per game might have been more of a product from being more physical than his competition.


It seems as though Jackson-Davis is a prospect that will be able to keep up physically right away. He has the experience of a four-year, highly productive college player. Dropping to the second-to-last pick in the draft seems like it will make him work even harder, and learning under the likes of Draymond Green and Kevon Looney as undersized big men will be a great fit.

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About Christian Oblena

Born in San Francisco, raised in the East Bay, lifelong Bay Area sports fan. Here to give my own opinions on everything Dubs.

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