Chris Paul

Warriors Notes: Holiday, Roster, Jackson-Davis, Looney, More

There are logical reasons why the Warriors should pursue Jrue Holiday, who was traded to the Trail Blazers in the Damian Lillard blockbuster.

As Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, Holiday — a two-time All-Star and five-time All-Defense member — is one of the best two-way guards in the league. He’s also five years younger (33) than Chris Paul (38), who would almost certainly be included in a potential deal for salary-matching purposes.

However, according to Poole, the possibility of trading Paul so soon after acquiring him creates a dilemma for Golden State. The team has spent the past few months talking up how well the future Hall-of-Famer will fit in, and how he was the “missing piece.” Flipping him before he plays a game for the Warriors would likely have future free agents questioning the organization’s integrity, Poole writes.

Poole believes Holiday would improve the roster, and is “probably a more seamless fit into the team’s culture.” But trading Paul now would still carry a level of risk.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Kendra Andrews of ESPN examines key storylines for the Warriors entering the 2023/24 season, including how the team will fill its final standard roster spots. After the chemistry issues of last season, Golden State is looking for a “glue guy” who will be a good locker-room presence, team sources tell Andrews.
  • Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis could be a seamless fit for Golden State’s system, according to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. The 6’9″ big man has plenty of experience, having played four highly productive college seasons at Indiana. Head coach Steve Kerr sounded impressed with the second round-pick on Monday, Johnson notes. “What I like about Trayce is he plays the way we like to play — good passer, dribble handoff guy at the top of the key, good screener, gives us a lob threat that we don’t otherwise have, which is a really nice addition,” Kerr said. “And I think he’s just the kind of guy who feels the game well. He’s got a good feel for passing, cutting movement. And a lot of the stuff that we already run he runs really well. So Trayce is a really intriguing prospect and will be fun to watch him play.”
  • In a lengthy interview with Mark Medina of Sportskeeda, center Kevon Looney talked about his rebounding prowess, his desire to keep his consecutive games streak alive (he hasn’t missed a game the past two seasons), how long he hopes to play, adjusting to new teammates, and more.
  • The Warriors are close to hosting the 2025 All-Star game, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The news isn’t official yet, but it’s heading in that direction. As Charania notes, 2024 All-Star weekend will be held in Indianapolis.

Warriors Notes: CP3, Starting Five, Green, Kuminga, Saric

New Warriors point guard Chris Paul could endear himself to fans and the organization alike if he declares on media day that he’s focused solely on winning and is open to playing any role in his first season in Golden State, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Both Poole and Tim Kawakami of The Athletic believe Paul is best suited to come off the bench, leaving a strong starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney intact. That would allow the veteran point guard to head up the second unit and to move into the starting five in the event of an injury. He’d still see plenty of crunch-time action, but bringing him off the bench would allow the Warriors to manage his minutes in preparation for the postseason, Kawakami notes.

Asked by Kawakami if he has talked to Paul about being a reserve, Kerr said he only addressed the subject “briefly” when he spoke to CP3 following the trade that sent him to the Warriors.

“I basically told him what I just told you and told everybody listening, that we’ve gotta see,” Kerr said during an appearance on Kawakami’s podcast. “We’ve gotta work on this and put everything on the floor.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • The decision to re-sign Green after he declined his player option was made early in the offseason and helped line up the rest of the Warriors’ summer moves, according to Kerr. “I think Draymond was the key decision over the summer, and collectively we just all felt like, you know what, he impacts winning at such a high level, he’s still such an impactful player at both ends, and this has been such a special group, let’s lean into the group and see what we can do,” Kerr told Kawakami.
  • Kerr said he’s excited to see what sort of impact the addition of Paul will have on young forward Jonathan Kuminga and newcomer Dario Saric, noting that CP3 makes the game easier for everyone. He added that he’s “really excited” about the addition of Saric as a free agent. “I think he was a crucial, crucial signing for us,” Kerr said on Kawakami’s podcast. “You think about our team two years ago, that won the championship. One of the reasons we won is we had (Nemanja Bjelica) and Otto Porter, two bigs who could shoot and play-make on the perimeter and tie together certain combinations. You look at Saric, he’s a bigger and stronger version of Bjelica. Really good pick-and-pop player, but also very strong, very physical, great screen-setter, great dribble-handoff guy.”
  • Kerr downplayed the notion that the Warriors need more size on their roster, pointing out that even defensive stars like Anthony Davis have trouble guarding Nikola Jokic. “You can’t just look at it and say we need somebody who’s big and strong to guard Jokic,” Kerr told Kawakami. “You also have to say, all right, at the other end, what are we going to do? How can you make the game more even when you’re going against a guy like that? Well, it’s with play-making and passing and putting the other guy in a difficult spot. That’s the balance you’re really looking for. You can throw a big guy out there on Jokic and it may not matter. And then you’re going to be less effective on offense at the same time and you’re really in a tough spot.”
  • Speaking to Sam Amick and Anthony Slater of The Athletic on the Tampering podcast this week, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. also said he believes the Warriors have enough size. Dunleavy, who discussed several other topics during the conversation, also suggested that the organization believes new rules like the second tax apron and the player participation policy were implemented to slow down teams like Golden State. “I think first of all, you take it as a compliment when, you know, just like Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), (when) they took the dunk out (of the college game during his time at UCLA),” Dunleavy said. “… You’ve gotta first let it soak in and feel like, ‘OK, we did something right (for the changes to be seen as necessary).”

Dunleavy: Paul Trade Came Together Quickly

The trade that brought Chris Paul to the Warriors came to fruition in a short span of time, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. told The Athletic duo of Sam Amick and Anthony Slater.

The trade was officially completed in early July. The Wizards, who acquired Paul in the Bradley Beal blockbuster with the Suns, received guards Jordan Poole and Ryan Rollins, forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., the Warriors’ 2030 first-round pick (top-20 protected), Golden State’s 2027 second-round pick, and cash.

“The CP stuff developed over maybe a week or 10 days. That was not a long-term deal that we were working on,” Dunleavy said. “It happened fast. (But) I think this league, and this job is all about capitalizing on time horizons. And right now, we’re in the thick of a period where we feel like we can still contend, and we want to take advantage of that.”

The Warriors shed Poole’s four-year, $123MM+ contract in the deal. The 38-year-old Paul has a non-guaranteed $30MM contract for the 2024/25 season, and that factored into the decision to bring in the future Hall of Famer.

“Coming off a championship, you know, just two years ago, I think we all feel like we’re still right there,” Dunleavy said. “And so to make a move to bring in Chris was, I mean, some may see it as short-sighted, short-term. But yeah, it helps us win now and then it gives us some future financial flexibility.”

Dunleavy and other members of the front office began pondering whether to bring in Paul when the Suns considered waiving or buying him out before he was dealt to Washington. They initially thought of pursuing Paul if he was placed on waivers and became a free agent through that process. It eventually morphed into trade discussions with the Wizards.

“We identified him as a guy we thought could help our team. And the reason that was was just his experience, his leadership,” Dunleavy said. “We struggled last year and in years past with taking care of the ball. We struggled sometimes at the end of games with decision-making. So we felt like ‘Yeah, Chris is a little bit older. But he fits with our group, and he can help us in some areas that we’re deficient in. So it started to make sense.”

The team’s core players, including Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, quickly warmed to the idea of bringing in Paul, even though it may create some awkwardness with Curry and Green having been the team’s main play-makers for so many seasons.

“I don’t have a whole lot of worries about that,” Dunleavy said. “But I think just the common thread of competitiveness, intelligence and just being adults, those things make me believe that this thing can work out. I think for those guys, Draymond (and) Steph, especially, like you said, they’ve been through the wars with Chris for so many years and Chris the same way, that I think it came down to just that initial idea of it. There’s a little bit of a shock. And then once you settle in and think about it, and the ways that it would work, I think they quickly came back to, ‘This is kind of a no-brainer.’”

Warriors Notes: Lineup, Howard, Roster Spots, Load Management, Kerr

The decision on the Warriors’ starting lineup will be made during training camp, coach Steve Kerr said in a video link provided by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and Chris Paul will all get significant minutes regardless but Kerr wants to look at various combinations before making a decision.

“We basically have six starters, the way I look at it,” he said. “Only five can go each night, so I haven’t decided yet what we’re going to do. I want to see in training camp. We’re going to try to different combinations. Obviously, all six guys are going to play a lot of minutes for us. But if this is going to work, everyone is going to have to embrace it, regardless of who is starting and who isn’t.”

Kerr will look at a smaller lineup with either Green or Looney in the middle. However, he likes the chemistry that Green and Looney have developed over the years.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • In regard to Dwight Howard meeting with the front office, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said the longtime center is just one of many candidates for the remaining roster spots. The Warriors have held open the 14th and 15th spots. “In general, we brought in maybe 40 or 50 guys this summer to get a further look at,” Dunleavy said, as relayed by Warriors on NBCS (video link). “Some of them, we’ll bring into camp.” Dunleavy added that he’s not targeting a specific position to fill one or both of those spots. “We’re kind of open,” he added.
  • Dunleavy said the team will follow the new league rules regarding load management, Warriors on NBCS relays in another video link. Kerr has sometimes rested multiple starters during back-to-backs in recent years. “The league makes the rules. We’ll play by them,” Dunleavy said. “That’s the best I can say.”
  • Kerr says he’ll run a tighter ship after the Warriors’ disappointing postseason performance, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “When you lose in the second round and you feel like you’ve had a disappointing year, it’s a lot easier to come in and be focused,” Kerr said. “It’s a lot easier for me to come in as a coach and be more demanding, and I think the players will expect that, too.”

Pacific Notes: Howard, Clippers, Westbrook, Davis

Dwight Howard completed his two-day interview with the Warriors on Wednesday and a decision on his future with the team could be made as soon as today, tweets Jason Dumas of KRON4 News.

Howard will travel to Los Angeles for a workout later today with Draymond Green and Chris Paul, according to Dumas, who states that the team’s veterans have already endorsed the idea of signing the 37-year-old big man.

With 13 players on standard contracts, Golden State is hoping to fill out its roster with a reliable backup for center Kevon Looney. Dewayne DedmonDerrick Favors and Harry Giles are among the players who were brought in for workouts, while the team also reportedly had interest in JaVale McGee before he signed with Sacramento.

Howard wants to return to the NBA after playing last season in Taiwan. He’s an eight-time All-Star, but has changed teams every year since 2016/17.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Clippers shouldn’t be considered the face of the NBA’s new player participation policy, contends Law Murray of The Athletic. Although Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have missed a lot of games over the past few years, Murray argues that the PPP wouldn’t have affected the team very much if it had been in place last season. He points out that the two stars missed the same game 12 times in 2022/23. Only two of those games were nationally televised, and Leonard and George were legitimately injured for both contests — Leonard with a sprained ankle and George with a strained hamstring.
  • In a KTLA segment (Instagram link), Leonard says the Clippers will benefit from having Russell Westbrook on their roster from the start of training camp (hat tip to Fan Nation). The veteran guard made a late-season impact after joining the team in February. “It’s very important having him back,” Leonard said. “… Now we got a Hall-of-Fame point guard that’s been through it. I think that’s going to be big for us coming into the year.”
  • Appearing on the Athletic NBA Show (video link), Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said the team was able to overcome its slow start last season because of stellar play from Anthony Davis. Davis was limited to 56 games, but he averaged 25.9 points and 12.5 rebounds and L.A. was much better when he was on the court. “Anthony Davis being healthy, there’s an argument to be made that he was the best player in the NBA when he was playing,” Buss said.

Draymond Green Believes Warriors Can Still Win Multiple Titles

After re-signing with the Warriors on a four-year, $100MM contract, Draymond Green isn’t just trying to one win more title with the franchise — he remains optimistic that Golden State’s current core is capable of making it back to the NBA Finals and winning it multiple times, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN writes.

“I don’t like to necessarily put a number on things,” Green told ESPN. “But I don’t see why we can’t get two more championships. Why not?”

The Warriors’ playoff loss to the Lakers this past spring represented the first time since 2014 that the team had dropped a postseason series to a Western Conference opponent. Golden State won titles in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2022, won the West in 2016 and 2019, and missed the playoffs altogether in 2020 and 2021. Green expressed confidence that the Warriors can start a new streak of intra-conference postseason victories in 2024.

“[The Lakers have] done it once, and that’s great,” he said. “Now someone has to do it again and again.
And I don’t foresee that happening.”

Here are a few more highlights from Youngmisuk’s story on Green and the Warriors:

  • Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said he sought out input from Green and the club’s other core players when the front office was considering trading for Chris Paul this summer. “Really anytime we make a big move, whether it’s going to Steph, Klay, Draymond, you want to kind of feel it out and see what they think,” Dunleavy said, per Youngmisuk. “All of them initially, including Chris, sort of had some pause. But then they thought about it and real quick became like, ‘Let’s do this. This is going to be great.'”
  • As Youngmisuk writes, Green admitted that he didn’t immediately warm to the idea of teaming up with Paul, a longtime playoff foe for the Warriors. However, the idea quickly grew on him, and he’s making it one of his goals this season to help the veteran point guard win his first NBA title. Both Paul and Green are accustomed to being offensive facilitators, but Golden State is confident the two veterans will figure out how to effectively coexist. “The way they’ll fit together is their competitiveness and their intelligence,” Dunleavy said. “We will see how the skill set aligns and anytime you add another player like Chris Paul, I think there’s things you got to figure out.”
  • While Green has gotten used to the idea of being teammates with Paul, he knows there will still be work to be done to establish chemistry on the court. He says he’s excited about going through that process, according to Youngmisuk. “We’ve gotten together as a team, we’ve kicked it together and the vibe feels great,” Green said. “And I’m a student of the game of basketball and Chris Paul is a master, and I’m looking forward to learning from him.”

World Cup/Team USA Notes: Paul, Embiid, SGA, Canada, Bertans

Add Chris Paul to the list of stars who might join Team USA for the 2024 Olympics. The Warriors point guard is considering another Olympic appearance, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Paul won gold medals during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Joel Embiid would be an even bigger catch for Team USA, which lost three times in the World Cup in large part due to its lack of interior size. However, the Sixers’ big man, who holds both United States and French citizenship, remains noncommittal.

As reported earlier in the day, LeBron James is trying to round up a number of All-Stars for the Olympics.

We have more World Cup-related info:

  • Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who led Canada to a bronze medal, believes the World Cup experience will have a positive impact on the upcoming NBA season, according to George Efkarpides of “I think this whole tournament will help me be ready for the next season,” he said. “I’ll be in shape, I’ve played basketball, so it won’t be as much of an adjustment next season.”
  • Team Canada’s coach, Jordi Fernandez, hopes the roster assembled for the World Cup returns for the Olympics, Aris Barkas of writes. We have a great program and we will decide about the Olympic roster when this time comes. But they made this happen, those guys have the number one ticket. We will hold on to those guys,” Fernandez said.
  • Latvia had a strong run in the World Cup and Thunder forward Davis Bertans hopes it becomes a turning point for his country’s basketball program, he told Cesare Milanti of “Hopefully, that inspires the kids back home,” he said. “There are a lot bunch of videos back home where instead of studying the kids were watching our games. Probably a better lesson than the one they could learn in school. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

Pacific Notes: Paul, Labissiere, Warriors Rookies, Lakers

The Warriors made one of the splashiest moves of the offseason when they acquired Chris Paul from Washington after he was sent to the Wizards by Phoenix in the Bradley Beal trade. Even though the Warriors sent out Jordan Poole in the deal, lineup questions arose for Golden State, who return 2022/23 starters Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney — that could leave CP3 as the odd man out in the starting five.

However, appearing on a recent episode of Yahoo Sports’ Vince Goodwill’s “Good Word With Goodwill” podcast (Podcast link), Andscape’s Marc J. Spears said he expects the Warriors to start Paul.

I do expect him to start. And I think it’s like five-minute spurts,” Spears said on the podcast. “I don’t know that they really want his minutes to be high, but I think they’re gonna try it. I could be wrong, but that’s the gist I’m getting. This isn’t an opinion that he’s expected to start; it’s what I’m hearing. He’s never not started in his career.

As Spears notes, Paul has started in all 1,214 of his NBA appearances. If that streak continues, it means one of the Warriors’ entrenched starters would have to move to the bench. Looney is a natural candidate, but the Warriors are lacking size and going that route would put them at a disadvantage in that regard, since it would make 6’6″ Green and 6’7″ Wiggins the tallest players in the lineup.

We have more notes from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings plan to sign and then waive Skal Labissiere on the same day, meaning he won’t report to the team’s training camp The Kings Beat’s James Ham tweets. This was always the expected outcome for Labissiere, especially after the team secured his G League rights in a trade on Friday. Labissiere, 27, played for the Kings from 2016-19 after being drafted by the team with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2016 draft. He holds career averages of 7.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 148 NBA appearances between the Kings and the Trail Blazers.
  • Warriors rookies Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis are becoming closer throughout the offseason, recently touring several attractions in San Francisco, Shayna Rubin of The Mercury News writes. Podziemski and Jackson-Davis, who could both play rotational roles for a Warriors team seeking to contend, are becoming acclimated to the city and the franchise, according to Rubin. Rubin reports that the two were part of a players-only mini-camp hosted by Curry at the end of August, and the entire team grew closer as a result of the event.
  • Signing Christian Wood is the latest in a series of flashy Lakers moves this offseason, but Heavy’s Sean Deveney writes that rival executives believe coach Darvin Ham is going to have his hands full with developing and sticking to a rotation. “They’re deep,” the executive said, per Deveney. “They’re 12 deep. That’s great when you look at it on paper. But when happens when the ball goes up and you’re playing nine guys, and one of those guys is playing eight minutes? That gets sticky for a coach. [Ham] is as good as anyone at relating to players, but a depth chart like that can be a coach’s nightmare.” Deveney suggests that Wood wouldn’t have joined the Lakers if his role wasn’t going to be big. Los Angeles also brought in a handful of players in free agency, including Gabe Vincent and Taurean Prince, while retaining Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell. Second-year player Max Christie is also in line for more playing time.

Warriors’ Lacob Talks Kerr, Paul, Poole, More

Speaking to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, Warriors owner Joe Lacob expressed optimism about retaining Klay Thompson long term, as we previously relayed.

However, Thompson isn’t the only key member of the organization entering a potential walk year. As Kawakami writes, head coach Steve Kerr, who is currently coaching Team USA at the World Cup, could also be a free agent in 2024, but there seems to be momentum on a contract extension ahead of training camp.

We have started to talk with his people, again, same as kind of the Klay situation,” Lacob said. “Very early. There’s plenty of time. Steve is just like Klay, we want Steve to be here for a long time. Hall of Fame coach, we really value him. And I’m sure we’ll be able to work out something that’s fair to both sides.”

Kerr, who turns 58 later this month, has been Golden State’s lead coach for the past nine seasons, compiling a 473-238 regular season record (.665 winning percentage) and a 99-41 postseason record (.707) en route to six finals appearances, including four championships.

Here are some more highlights from Kawakami’s conversation with Lacob, which is worth checking out in full:

  • Lacob said the team didn’t plan to exceed $400MM in combined payroll and luxury tax payments for the upcoming season, but noted that trading Jordan Poole for Chris Paul created more financial “optionality” going forward — Paul’s ’24/25 salary is non-guaranteed, while Poole is entering the first year of a four-year, $123MM+ extension. “To some extent, this is a year-by-year league,” he said. “When you’ve got a chance to win, you’ve got to go for it. We did the best thing we thought we could do. This is going for it. So we’ll see what happens.”
  • Golden State’s owner said the team will take a wait-and-see approach regarding Paul’s future with the team beyond this season. Lacob also said that while he was initially dubious about the trade, eventually the Warriors realized it could make them better this season, since Paul has consistently helped raise the level of the players around him. “We kind of warmed to that idea and the more we processed it the more we thought it really made sense — at least for the short-to-intermediate term,” Lacob told Kawakami. “Certainly longer-term, I’m not going to deny, we gave up a great asset in Jordan Poole, probably has a decade or so left to play in this league. He’s probably going to just get better. We were going short-term versus long-term on this. But for a lot of different reasons, both basketball reasons and financial reasons, it just made sense to do it.”
  • Poole and Draymond Green had a well-documented dust-up during last year’s training camp, with Green punching the young guard. Kawakami asked Lacob if it was fair to say the Warriors had to pick between the two players this summer after a season filled with tension (Green re-signed on a four-year, $100MM deal). “I don’t want to say absolutely that’s true,” Lacob said. “I think it’s fair to say there was some level of concern going forward whether that was going to be something that would work out. To be honest with you, I think it would’ve worked out, could’ve worked out. But I think it is fair to say that in order to make the numbers work and so on, someone probably was going to be the odd man out. It just turned out, and it wasn’t planned, that it was Jordan.”
  • Lacob confirmed Golden State hopes to move under the league’s second tax apron next offseason, according to Kawakami. “It is very penal to be above it,” he said. “I think our goal would be to be under it, yeah. You just lose too many options in terms of constructing your roster, draft choices and a variety of things. It is very difficult to contemplate not being under it. But look, it’s a year-by-year thing and we’ll see what happens.”

Community Shootaround: Chris Paul

Steve Kerr is busy coaching Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. When he comes back and returns to the sidelines for the Warriors, he’ll have an interesting lineup decision.

Golden State still has all of its usual starters — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney — on the roster. It’s a group that won a championship two seasons ago.

The acquisition of Chris Paul now creates a dilemma. The future Hall of Fame point guard has appeared in 1,214 regular season games. He’s started all of them, even during his rookie campaign for New Orleans in 2005/06.

It’s safe to assume Curry and Green will remain in the lineup. Thompson has started every game since his second NBA season.  Wiggins went through some personal issues last season but he’s started every game in his NBA career.

Looney would be the logical candidate to lose his starting job, though that would leave the Warriors with an awfully small lineup. Looney’s defense and rebounding are key components to the team’s success. If he comes off the bench, it may be difficult to have both Jonathan Kuminga and free agent Dario Saric in the rotation.

At this stage of his career, Paul might be willing to be a sixth man in order to get that elusive ring he’s been chasing. But it would still seemingly be an uncomfortable spot for a player of his stature.

That brings us to our topic of the day: Should Chris Paul start for the Warriors this upcoming season? If he’s in the lineup, which of the returning players should come off the bench?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.