The NBA season has now arrived. Months of speculation, draft picks, signings and trades are all in the rearview mirror. Training camp has been wrapped up, the preseason concluded, and on Tuesday night the Golden State Warriors will take the court for Game 1 of the 2023-24 regular season.
Plenty of questions swirl around the team, from how the aging stars will fight off Father Time to where future Hall of Famer Chris Paul fits with this group. Is Jonathan Kuminga ready to make the leap? Is new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. itching to make another big trade?
Perhaps the most discussed question has been that of the starting lineup and the rotation. While the pressure to decide on a starting group has been alleviated for the first couple of games with Draymond Green set to miss at least opening night, the full-strength rotation is a question mark. This Warriors team goes 13-deep with players worth seeing playing time; how will Steve Kerr manage the rotation?
Here are our predictions on the full-strength depth chart and rotation to start the season, starting with a player ready to win not only another title, but perhaps another MVP trophy as well.
Warriors starting point guard: Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry may not have the sheer volume of points, games and accolades that LeBron James has (he does match The King in titles) but he is hoping to match something that only LeBron has done in NBA history: turn in an MVP-level season at age 35. By the time the playoffs roll around, Curry will be 36 and looking to be the best player on a championship team. James did it in 2020; can Curry, whose conditioning is elite, stave off the effect of aging and hit the same heights?
Warriors backup point guard: Chris Paul
The bigger question here is whether Chris Paul will start or come off the bench. The prediction here is that Paul will start the first few games of the season while Green is out and working his way back into game shape, and then the ultimate starting lineup will see Paul move to the bench. He’s a strong candidate to close games, but the proven Warriors starting group will get the nod in most games this year.
Behind Curry and Paul, the contest between Cory Joseph and Brandin Podziemski will be interesting to watch. Neither is likely to be in the primary rotation, and Joseph’s veteran experience likely gives him the initial advantage over “Podz” but the rookie had an excellent preseason and could push for fringe minutes over the course of the year.
Other options: Cory Joseph, Brandin Podziemski