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).”