Speculation around the Golden State Warriors starting lineup will continue into training camp, with head coach Steve Kerr remaining non-committal after the franchise’s acquisition of Chris Paul during the offseason.
The Warriors incumbent starting group of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney remained the best in the league last season, but juxtaposed with that is the fact Paul has never come off the bench over an 18-year, 1200+ game career.
Chris Paul’s role is perhaps the most pressing question surrounding the Golden State Warriors, but it’s unlikely there’s an answer in the immediate short-term.
Addressing the media at a press conference on Monday, Kerr reiterated that a decision on his starting five wouldn’t come until during or after training camp where he’s bound to experiment with various combinations.
"“We basically have six starters the way I look at it. Only five can go each night. 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 said. “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’s starting and who’s not.”"
The four-time championship-winning coach also added that he’ll certainly look at the much discussed small-ball five of Paul, Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green. Kerr appeared optimistic about that unit, stating, “it’s hard to imagine that wouldn’t click pretty well”.
Fans and analysts have rightfully been concerned with the complete lack of size in that group and the defensive and rebounding issues that could permeate as a result. Even more so, Paul’s public resistance to a sixth-man role to this point has been unnerving given most assumed he’d take on the position left by the departed Jordan Poole.
Paul famously snapped back at a reporter who made that assumption during his introductory press conference back in July. Like Kerr, Paul has constantly referred to this being a training camp decision rather than voluntarily putting his hand up like some fans may have preferred.
Golden State will officially enter training camp on October 2, with their first preseason game coming on October 7 against the Los Angeles Lakers. Regular season tip-off will take place on October 24 at Chase Center against Paul’s former team in the Phoenix Suns.