One of the first questions asked this offseason surrounded the Golden State Warriors starting lineup. That might seem crazy at first glance, since the Warriors’ starters were the league’s best five-man lineup last season, but it became a topic because suddenly the Warriors found themselves with six starters.
Bringing a young guard like Jordan Poole off the bench was one thing, but after the team traded Poole for future Hall of Fame point-guard Chris Paul, the question was thrust into the spotlight. Then Chris Paul himself bristled at his introductory “press conference” that he was automatically going to come off the bench.
Steve Kerr has talked around the issue and Paul has tipped his cap to the possibility by referencing the 2008 Summer Olympics where he came off of the bench for the “Redeem Team” in Beijing. The urgency to figure it out is also lessened by Draymond Green’s ankle injury, which could cause him to miss the start of the regular season.
Who should the Warriors start? It’s going to be some combination of Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. There are other players you could make a case for, but ultimately the lineup will come down to those six players. Who will make the cut, and who gets moved to the bench? Let’s walk through all the possible configurations from gross to gold; which lineup should they use?
Lineup No. 6: Bench Stephen Curry
Starters: Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
The worst possible combination of those six players is to bring two-time MVP Stephen Curry off the bench. He famously did that to start the 2022 playoffs as he worked his way back from injury, managing his own minutes restriction and allowing Jordan Poole the boost of confidence by remaining with the starters.
Yet to do that for the season is insane. Stephen Curry is still a top five player in the league, one of the greatest offensive forces in the league and in league history. He has somehow extended his prime this long, and until it becomes clear that he no longer is at an All-NBA level he will be a starter for the Warriors.