Fantasy basketball: Why Chris Paul is valuable on the Warriors

ByEric Moody ESPN logo
Thursday, June 22, 2023

The NBA offseason never disappoints. The Washington Wizards have been the busiest team so far, trading Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns Sunday and Kristaps Porzingis to Boston Celtics late Wednesday night. The Wizards weren't done making moves Thursday, trading Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jordan Poole,2027 second-round pick and a 2030 first-round pick.

The move created quite a bit of buzz around the NBA as Golden State looks to shift the balance of power in the Western Conference after the Nuggets won the Championship last season. Many expected that Paul's time in Washington would be short-lived as he attempts to finish his career chasing a championship alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

From a fantasy perspective, Paul continues to hold significant value despite being 38 years old. He averaged 13.9 PPG, 8.9 APG, 4.3 RPG, and 1.5 SPG in 32.0 MPG with the Suns last season. Paul can still score, create assists and hit triples, giving him a solid foundation for fantasy production. He joins a Warriors' team that led the league in APG over the past two seasons.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this move is that Golden State will have two of the most established point guards in NBA history on the same team. Paul and Curry are two of the four active guards in the league with 20,000 career points. Paul became the first player in NBA history to reach 20,000 career points and 10,000 career assists in 2021.

The addition of Paul to the Warriors' rotation gives the team more catch-and-shoot scenarios. No team scored more points per game on such field goal attempts than Golden State last season. The Warriors serve as the perfect opportunity for Paul to thrive as a role player at this stage of his career. His skills and the Warriors' offensive prowess make Paul an enticing option for fantasy managers this upcoming season.

Now, let's talk about Poole.

After the Warriors won the 2022 NBA championship, they had high hopes for Poole and signed him to a four-year, $140 million extension that offseason.

He then had an underwhelming regular season and struggled in the playoffs with a 34.1% field goal percentage, the second lowest among players with at least 50 shot attempts.

Poole now has an opportunity to shine in Washington, especially if Kyle Kuzma chooses not to re-sign with the Wizards. Poole will likely take over Beal's spot in the starting lineup, where he has proven he can excel in the past. Poole averaged 24.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 4.6 APG in the 43 games he started for the Warriors last season compared to 15.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 4.4 APG in his games as a reserve. He has the potential to finish the 2023-24 season as a top-50 fantasy player and his progression is worth keeping an eye on.

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