Almost immediately following their blockbuster acquisition of Chris Paul on draft day in June, speculation arose on the Golden State Warriors’ plans with the 38-year-old future hall-of-famer.
Was Paul simply a means to get off from Jordan Poole’s seemingly overpriced four-year, $128 million contract? While the financial perspective undoubtedly played a role, the constant notion from the Warriors has been that Paul will play an incredibly important role with the team this season.
Joe Lacob’s recent comments on Chris Paul will do little to halt speculation on the point-god’s future with the Golden State Warriors.
In a recent interview with Tim Kawakami of the Athletic, Warrior owner Joe Lacob reiterated the franchise’s desire to re-ignite their championship credentials with Paul as part of the fold.
"“There’s a lot of possibilities but I don’t think our goal, quite frankly, is to trade Chris Paul away or do something with that contract”, Lacob said. “We like the idea of having Chris Paul on the team. And we’re excited about it. So let’s see what happens, how it works and how successful we are, and we’ll take it from there”."
Lacob’s “we’ll take it from there” comment doesn’t evoke a huge sense of assurance in the Paul experiment working out. At the very least it certainly won’t halt speculation on his future and a potential mid-season move where the Warriors find a major upgrade.
The reality is that Golden State will be paying over $30 million to a backup point-guard next season, albeit to a highly over-qualified one. That might be better than paying Poole over $120 million across the next four years, but it still poses the question of whether that salary spot can be better utilized elsewhere.
The opening to the season will be critical for Paul and the Warriors. A slow start for both and the pressure will begin to rise, only lifting conjecture on whether the franchise could flip him for a star-level forward or big man.
Regardless of their true intentions for Paul or anyone else on the roster, Lacob and other leaders are going to remain publicly supportive and optimistic of how it will play out. This, afterall, is a franchise who traded Poole three days after Mike Dunleavy Jr. stated he expected the young guard would be at the Warriors “for four more years at least”.