Why the Warriors Should NOT Trade Curry for CP3

Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA for my money. Has been for years. He would make the Warriors better instantly. Since getting him would require landing Tyson Chandler — Woj of Yahoo! Sports reported that CP3 might consider the Warriors if they land Tyson Chandler, who Paul had great chemistry with in New Orleans a few years ago — the Warriors would instantly become a playoff team.

It’s not going to happen. It’s titillating, no doubt, the thought of landing a player of Chris Paul’s caliber. But it’s a pipe dream. Paul will not sign with the Warriors. He wants out of New Orleans because he’s tired of being the main act in a two-act team. Like his friend LeBron James, Paul wants to win a championship or at least compete for one ASAP. So why would he sign a long-term deal with the Warriors? He won’t. And if he doesn’t, I’m told there is no way the Warriors give up Stephen Curry for him.

But, for the sake of conversation, let’s just say Chris Paul says he would sign with the Warriors. Let’s say the Warriors sign Tyson Chandler and now CP3 is on board.

The Warriors should not pull the trigger. As much as I love Chris Paul, there are several reasons that would not be a good trade for Golden State.

* Let’s look at the numbers.

Chis Paul       15.8 points, 9.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 2.21 turnovers

Steph Curry 18.6 points, 5.8 assists, 3.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 3.05 turnovers

Safe to say CP3 has the better numbers, which makes sense considering he’s the better player. But let’s look at another number.

Chris Paul     $16.36 million

Steph Curry $3.12 million

Is Paul $13 million better than Curry?

The Warriors will get better at the point guard position if you replace Curry with Chris Paul. But will they get that much better to justify spending $13 million more at the same position?

Certainly, Curry will command big money at some point. But it won’t be what Paul is set to get (a max deal or close to it). And Curry has two more seasons under his rookie contract.


* That’s not all Chris Paul would cost. A couple of sources have told me the Warriors’ offer includes Klay Thompson and Ekpe Udoh. So in addition to a huge pay raise at the PG slot, the Warriors would have to give up their last two lottery picks.

The Hornets would have to take another contract with Curry and/or they’d only get one of my young talents.  Curry, Klay and Biedrins is a lot easier to swallow. For the Warriors to eat lots more salary, give up young players and not get salary relief — isn’t that too much?


* How is Chris Paul’s knee? That’s a lot of money if he’s lost a step.


* In addition to Paul’s huge salary, the Warriors will have Tyson Chandler’s fat deal, which I’m now told the Warriors would do good if they got him to start at $12 million. They will have David Lee’s fat deal. They will have Monta Ellis’ considerably large fat deal. They can waive Biedrins through the amnesty, but next season you’d be looking at well over $50 million for CP3, Chandler, Lee and Ellis – maybe closer to $60 million.

That team is better. It gets you in the playoffs. But how far? It would have to be a championship core considering the Warriors would be near or over the tax.

The Warriors would almost have to trade someone else. Monta is the most likely, and I’d still want to pilfer Chicago’s roster.


* CP3 and Monta together is dangerous. Of course, the Warriors could trade Monta for the best offer they can get. But if they don’t, their backcourt would feature two players who MUST have the ball. Curry has the skills to play off the ball, giving Monta time to dominate the rock.

What happens when Mark Jackson, a true point guard, gets Chris Paul, the best point guard in the game? Monta gets pushed off the ball permanently. I once thought he could work off the ball, as he did with Baron. I currently believe those days are long gone. Monta is too used to being the man here. I don’t see that going well. And CP3 has the credibility to bark back at Monta, unlike anyone currently on the team. He won’t defer like Curry. A Monta-CP3 backcourt has chemistry issues written all over it.


* How long before Chris Paul wants out? He clearly wants to win a title. The Warriors, even with him, don’t figure to be close for years. In two or three years, will he be vying to get to New York? Will he clash with the coach, or the front office, or whisper trade demands on the low?

Again, I love Chris Paul. Best PG in the league. But there are risks to getting him. Perhaps enough to make it a bad move for the Warriors.

Marcus Thompson

  • Scotty

    I think you’re wrong on one thing for sure, Monta would be willing to play off the ball a lot more with CP3. It was easy to see why he would be hesitant to do it with a youngster like Curry, but not with an established star like Paul.

  • GSWFaithful

    All speculative, but having CP is a magnet for good players, like MLE players or like Dwight. Maybe Orlando would take Chandler and Monta (or any combination) at the deadline then you’ve got Paul and Howard and that is a championship team. Just sayin. Regardless, I just wouldn’t do it without and extension.

    PS 1) No guaratnee Steph stays after this deal. 2) Steph already has one surgery under his belt, so health is no guarantee.

  • Squalldip

    All fine points but you avoided the one thing that wins championships, defense.

    We will not win an NBA championship with our current defensive deficient roster.

    Chris Paul is one of the best defending PGs in the league, Curry is bottom 5 starting PGs in the league when it comes to defense.

    Chandler was the backbone Center to a championship winning team. These two players will change the Warriors style as we completely know it to something starting to resemble a playoff basketball squad.

  • PhillyJ

    I usually agree with you Marcus, but not this time. It is time for the Ws to stop being just average and take that next step and acquire these two All-Stars. We’ve got to stop being so conservative. Where has all this “conservativeness” taken us these past 16 some years? only when Mully shook things up and made trades that the Ws actually had the upper hand.

    We gotta do this.

  • chibi

    how this plays out will give some indication of how much juice jerry west has in the organization. superstars are integral to championship success and they are acquired no matter the cost–that’s basically the logo’s philosophy.

  • Niners in 2012

    If things go south and don’t work out you can always trade Paul for Rondo at the deadline.

  • Ziggy Starcrust

    These supposed superstars these days all want the easy way out to earn the coveted ring, which is totally and completely lame.
    You never saw Barkley, Dominique, Drexler, etc in their prime, demand to be traded to Jordan’s Bulls or any other teams that could get them a ring.
    They all took pride in getting as far as their talent could take them.
    NBA sucks.

  • JFish

    I agree, for the money differential alone I wouldn’t do it. Paul and Curry are essentially the same player. Paul is more mature, stronger, better passer, can get to the hoop better. Curry has a better outside shot. Paul is 26, so coming into his prime (if he stays healthy). Curry is three years younger and still on the upside of his career. Comparing stats first two years to first two years, very, very similar. It’s not like Paul is the one missing piece for GSW to win a title, why pay $13Million more, when you’re still going to have to build.

    Is it smart build a NO Hornets REUNION TEAM, several years and several surgeries later?

  • dan


    You just made a stupid argument by comparing stats. 2 guys with same numbers don’t mean squat.

    The W’s are a losing team with Curry but not with CP3 and that’s the most important argument. The W’s instantly becomes a winning team with CP3.

    Impact/franchise players do matter especially in BB. Forget about the salary stuff because if Lacob and company want to win as he has said many times, he should and would go over the caps.

    It is more than numbers and stats when considering trading/signing a player. If CP3 is willing to sign, you make the trade. End of story.

  • dan


    you want to argue about salary ? Kobe is getting 25mils this year while Ellis is dued 11-12mils. Is Kobe 14 mils better than Ellis ?

    The answer is a fvking YES and YES and YES.

    Remember the W’s will have to poly up some cash for Curry soon so his salary will rise significantly.

    It is stupid to argue about salary and stats. Bonds won MVP when his numbers were worse than some but people knew he was the best player in BB. bar none.
    Same here with CP3

    CP3 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Curry

    End of discussion.

  • Bravo, Marcus, your analysis is spot-on.

  • MWLX

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Why are we even talking about trading a very good and improving point guard? Let’s focus on getting a big guy like Tyson Chandler and go from there.

  • Niners in 2012

    Can we please just sign Chandler first?? Let’s get that huge move out of the way and go from there.

    MT, reading Rusty’s article from yesterday, Larry Riley seems to think we can move Biedrins for more capspace. What deals are out there? Thabeet?

  • Jon

    I vehemently disagree with this assessment. Any team in the league would be absolutely insane not to try to grab Paul, especially the Warriors. I don’t know how you can possibly say Paul is the best PG in the league and in the same breath say he’s not worth the money. He’s absolutely worth the money. Chris Paul controls every aspect of the game when he’s on the court. (I love Curry, but just watch a brief youtube video of Paul and you’ll see a variety of things that Curry can’t do.) Paul single-handedly makes you a winning team. (Not to mention the point that why should the fans care about the money– I’m not the owner signing the checks.)

    Moreover, you cannot compare the “potential” and “up-side” of guys like Thompson, Udoh, and even Curry to an extent, with the sure-fire proven super-stud that Chris Paul is right now, and the championship experience and toughness that Chandler has proven.

    Another unfortunate point is that you used Paul’s stats from last year, not his stats from his career, which are actually even better. But the biggest stat that jumps out is assist-to-turnover ratio– perhaps the most important stat for a PG. Curry’s is not even 2-to-1, while Paul’s for his career is between 4- and 5-to-1. A drastic difference.

    The remote possibility of chemistry issues with Monta is not even close to a reason why the Ws should veto a Paul deal. Any team in the league would die to get Paul (the Lakers are willing to mortgage everything but Kobe, for example) and the fact that the Warriors are potentially in a position to get him could be the best thing to happen to the franchise since ’75. If I’m running the team, I do absolutely everything in my power to make it happen. I can’t believe any Warriors fan would argue for a Paul trade not to happen, given how few and far between opportunities like this have been for this franchise! Getting him and Chandler both would be every holiday of the year wrapped up in one for me and the entire fan base!!!!! The only reason to be even 1% skeptical would be if Paul absolutely refused to sign an extension here or if his knee problems were known for a fact to be more significant than we now know. Those are the only reasons. All Dubs fans need to be behind this! A starting 5 of Paul-Monta-Wright-Lee-Chandler competes for the Western Conference Championship and perhaps even the Title immediately!! When’s the last time we could say that about our team?!?!

  • Raven

    I totally Disagree. if you can get a premier All-Star you have to pull the trigger on the trade. I’m sorry but the stats comparison does not show that CP3 makes his team mates better, gets call from referees, a leader and gets respect from opponents. Did anybody see the Lakers and Hornets playoff series? Can curry do what he did?

    this is why you’re a journalist and Lacob hired Jerry West to advice on Basketball personnel.

    I think CP3, Monta, Wright, Lee and Chandler can contend for a title. don’t tell me this lineup is not as good as the Mavs last year?

  • Andrew

    It would be sad to see Curry go, but if that’s what it takes to get Chris Paul, then I’d be all for it. I just hope the Warriors front office is not so dumb as to trade Curry without a guarantee from Paul that he would extend. That would just be the most idiotic gamble if Paul end up walking away next year. If that’s the case, then it would be a big HELL NO for me.

    First things first though, the Dubs need to go sign Chandler ASAP. If we get him, then I’d be okay either way with getting Paul or keeping Curry, Thompson and Udoh.

  • theCity

    I like the thoroughness once again- but Im not buying your argument. If you have Monta, CP3, and Chandler- you have a top 4 Western conference team in the making. I don’t think both of the 1st round picks would be involved- I could see either Klay T. or Udoh. Anyway- I’d rather have Curry over the house for dinner, but Chris Paul is a truly great PG. A winning team means good chemistry- so Monta would be fine. One caveat-only if CP3 signs extension- otherwise Warriors would get played.

  • Thanks Marcus,
    I’m on the fence here – which means the trade is good for both sides!!! However, Biedrins, and not Udoh have to be a part of this deal to make the numbers better for the Warriors. And Monta = would need to be traded for an Afflalo/Iggy-type guard (size/shooting/defense) especially with Klay Thompson gone in the deal. You’re so spot on = Monta and CP3 would have bad chemistry together. A championship team? Not yet – depth by overspending is what’ll compete with the Lakers/Mavs who spent over $90 million each last season. This starting 5 would be nearing the salary cap in combination (plus roster would need to be filled with role players).

  • Bruinblue

    But haven’t there been rumors that Steph has had HIS eye on the Knicks for some time? Pretty sure that was the case around his draft time at the very least.

    Seems like a darned if you do darned if you don’t kind of deal. So bite the bullet and make the move…see if they can add a strong piece or two around CP (Tyson or no Tyson) and see if Jax can use his charm and charisma to make CP want to stick around.

    Because the way I see it, Steph’s out of there in a couple years anyway.

  • kevin

    forget all that, while everyone is not looking go steal Nene

  • Marin

    Nice analysis but I’m not so sure I agree with your final analysis. A Paul, Ellis, Wright, Lee and Chandler starting lineup could catch fire, although it would be tough to fill the bench with quality players to give it a shot at a title. As mentioned by other commenters, the Warriors need a defensive identity and I do think adding Paul and especially Chandler will do that.

    I also think Monta would quickly get over having to have the ball in his hands all the time when he’s averaging nearly the same amount of points but doesn’t have to work as hard. As a youngster with Baron he was shooting about 50% and average 20 a game.

    There are a ton of concerns about Paul and Chandler, especially at those prices but I think Warriors fans want this new ownership to swing for the fences.

  • marc

    This is a NO BRAINER! You make the trade. End of Story

  • GMasterD

    If CP3 is in it for championships, no one should be fooled that Chandler is the piece that’s going to do it. By the start of the 2012-13 season CP3 will be playing with two proven superstars elsewhere and making a run with a real contender.

  • Bobswire

    Hello! Give them Ellis, keep Curry. Geez, do I have to figure out everything for you guys. :^)

  • What ever the dubs do, AMNESTY AMNESTY please for BIEDRENS. STOP with the hope that this guy will become a player under MJ. Aint going to happen. He is who he is.
    Keeping hope alive does not apply here.

  • Doctor Kajita

    I’d take CP3 as a rental (and the opportunity to show him Warriorland is the place to be going forward) if NOH takes Biedrins.

  • anhdazman

    Curry is no where near the type of player as CP3. CP3 makes other players around him better. Thompson is a rookie which I would gladly throw into the mix. Udoh didn’t show us much last year, in exchange for Chandler, how could you not make this trade. CP3 and Chandler for Curry, Klay Thompson and Udoh, oh my goodness, were do we sign the trade sheets!!
    Starting line up of CP3, Ellis, Wright, Lee and Chandler, good god!
    What’s this nonsense about CP3 and Ellis not being able to play with each other? Are you serious? Think of the defenses that have to plan on stopping one guy or the other. When it’s in CP3 hands, you better pay attention to the rest of the team because this is a double assist PG. What PGs are suppose to be doing 1st and foremost! Defensively Curry is no where near CP3. Chandler, rebounder, defender, the type of Center the Warriors have been looking for for the past 3 decades!

  • u jumped the shark

    You only do a trade if CP3 signs a long term deal. Otherwise, it is just silly speculation.

    CP3 is way better than Curry. And always will be. CP3 is a hall of fame level player. Curry will be lucky to make an All-Star team.

    Assuming that Monta would have problems with CP3 is silly too. You guys forget that CP3 and Monta are friends, and that CP3 turned Monta into a monster in the sophomore vs rookies game.

    Giving up both Klay and Epke would be rough.

  • Ron

    Agree with #13. Let Mr. West make this decision. Straight up a no brainer but a one year rental not so much.

  • deano

    Marrcus: You are the brave voice of reason. You are right that CP3 is a better player than Curry; especially on defense where Curry is a big liability and CP3 is a big asset.

    However, you are also right the CP3 probably wants to be on a team that can contend for a Championship annually. GSW is not such a team; and it will not be such a team even with CP3 and Tyson Chandler, because there is not enough supporting talent left if you lose Curry, Udoh and Thompson.

    Plus, GSW will not have the dough or cap space to acquire a Championship quality supporting cast for next season. Therefore, the vast probability is that Chris Paul would not resign with GSW at the end of this season, even if we do get Chandler.

    Meanwhile, GSW would be able to steadliy build for the future if we get Chandler, keep Curry, trade Ellis for a better defender at SG, develop Udoh and Thompson and keep some cap space for another FA next season.

  • chezshoppa

    I am inclined to agree with Marc on this 1 for a couple reasons. 1. Monte is now a a ball coontrolling shooting guard now Ala Kobe. He’s not the same young guard who played Robin to Barons Batman. He’s Batman and your attempting to bring in supper man and expecting them to co exist in one town. Not gonna happen in enough time. Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler does not take us to the finals it only makes us the hornets 1.5. there will be probes in the back court Dorell Wright and Ariza cancel each other out and Lee is not a better player West. At best Paul and chandler get us to the 2nd round of the playoffs which is a great start but wouldn’t just adding a player like NeNe at least get us that for less money? Rome wasn’t built in a day why should we assume the warriors should be? We have a great nucleus and a good draft class coming in with Thompson. Add NeNe and build with that depth. Dallas won the championship last year and we still owned them in games last season with Smart at the helm. I like our depth if we can add that big man. 2 deep at every position we should add a big and move forward with that.

  • Grey Warden

    Get Chandler for however much it will cost and get Paul. Figure out the details later! It would truly be a Christmas to remember if we have both on our team. I do like Curry, but I don’t like his constant reach-ins at half court early in the game and constant foul troubles resulting from it.

    As for Ellis, he wants to win, so I’m sure he’d gladly defer as being numero uno if they can be a playoff/championship caliber team.

  • Our Team


    I agree with your argument and don’t think this is a close call. With his projected development, coupled with his low salary, Curry is probably the top pg prospect in the League. There is a chance that Curry won’t develop as projected but there also is a chance that Chris Paul’s surgically repaired knees slow him down in the next year or two. Curry’s talent and salary are a huge plus that can allow you to build a real contender. Add Chandler. Amnesty or trade Biedrins. Keep Curry.

  • Grey Warden

    Oh and for anyone saying not to trade Curry for Paul without an extension: get over it, because, like Deron Williams, they would stand to make much more money by being a free agent than they would by signing an extension. So it’s not likely Paul would sign an extension with whomever team he happens to get traded to.

  • robert rowell

    typical W’s homer WAY overvaluing W’s players, MT2. give up our last two lottery picks + curry? a STEAL for CP3.

    perhaps you want to keep hitting the lottery, but i don’t and i don’t think that Lacob does either. let’s hope this deal + extension gets done.

  • Derek

    Onlt wacky uninformed warriors fans would fail to see CP3 and Monta would be by far the leagues best backcourt. A big 2 surrounded by a solid supporting cast in Lee, Chandler and Wright, which could be one of the leagues best starting line-ups

    Keep Thornton,Williams, and the hew young guys. Add another rebounder/banger like Powe or Carl Landry to balance out the team and they are strong contenders, far better than Dallas.

    GWS fans stop settling for losers and over valuing mediocre players.