Since the Golden State Warriors acquired Chris Paul in late June, their plans on how to best utilize him have largely been kept silent.
The NBA world has questioned how Paul will fit in with his new squad, which happens to boast the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history. But Paul’s no slouch in his own right, and despite turning 38 in May, the 12-time All-Star has never had a backup role.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr answered some of the speculation surrounding Paul’s role Monday at a team press conference.
“We basically have six starters, the way I look at it,” he told media members. “And only five can go each night, so I haven’t decided yet what we’re going to do. I want to see training camp. We’re going to try different combinations and take a look.”
Kerr emphasized that buying in to a team mindset is crucial for this new-look Dubs squad.
“Obviously, all six guys are going to play a lot of minutes for us, but if this is going to work, then everybody has to embrace it, regardless of who’s starting and who’s not. It only works if the whole team buys in, and I know these guys well. I know five of them really well — I’m getting to know Chris — and one thing I know about all of them is they want to win more than anything. They’re an incredibly competitive group, and I’m very confident we’ll figure it out, and the guys will buy in and find a way.”
“Competitive” is definitely an accurate word to describe Draymond Green, whose fiery nature has been well-documented throughout his career.
Kerr though, told reporters that Green himself would sometimes have to be relegated to the bench.
“We’ll look at [small lineups] for sure in camp and exhibition games and see what that looks like,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine that that wouldn’t click pretty well given that you’ve got a lot of talent and versatility and scoring on the floor. I think that putting [Kevon Looney] on the floor at the five, you could do as well with four smaller guys and Loon at center.
“But as you know, we’ve started Loon and Draymond together for years. They’re a great combination, probably one of the few four-five combinations in the league that … [does] more screening and shooting. You know, most people are throwing four shooters out there. We’re still throwing two bigs out there, and it’s worked well. But we’ve always had the change-up of going small. So we’re going to look at all of that.”
Kerr appears to have an embarrassment of riches at his disposal, but whether he cash in on their value is still in question.
Regardless, there’s only one annual expectation in San Francisco, and that’s an NBA championship. Can Kerr’s assortment of “six starters” net Paul his first ring?
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