Pacific Notes: Paul, Warriors, LeBron, Schröder, Walker

Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are looking forward to teaming up with longtime rival Chris Paul, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Paul’s ball-dominant style will bring a new look to Golden State’s backcourt, but Curry believes the combination can be successful.

“Every team that CP has been on gets better,” he said. “That’s the most consistent thing about him, and who he is and what he brings to the team. Everybody’s going to talk about the age. It’s on us to put that all together and figure out how all the pieces work.”

Thompson called Paul one of the best players of his generation and speculated that having him on the court should lead to better shots for everyone. He admits it will be “a little weird” to have Paul on his team after battling him in the playoffs for nearly a decade.

“I think he’s just going to add such a calming presence and leadership component that we need,” Thompson added.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors have been a popular destination for free agents throughout their run at the top of the league, but their reputation will be tested in this year’s free agency, observes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Golden State’s financial crunch, early playoff exit and the loss of general manager Bob Myers may make veteran players less likely to accept veteran’s minimum contracts to join the team.
  • LeBron James won’t pressure the Lakers to make any specific signings or trades during free agency, according to Mark Medina of Sportsnaut. Medina adds that despite his retirement talk after the Western Conference Finals, James is fully expected to play next season in the final year of his current contract.
  • Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka is committed to keeping the roster that finished last season intact, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. L.A. has five free agents and must decide by today whether to guarantee contracts for Mohamed Bamba and Malik Beasley. “Teams are going to be aggressive,” Pelinka said. “There’s a lot of parity in the league right now, and everyone smells an opportunity to chase the championship, but we’re going to try our best to stay in that pack or at the head of that pack.”
  • The Lakers are hoping to re-sign Dennis Schröder and Lonnie Walker IV, even though they’re both unrestricted and the team doesn’t have full Bird rights on either player, states Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
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