Veteran point-guard Chris Paul will play his career game off the bench when the Golden State Warriors meet the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center on Sunday.
According to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, the 38-year-old will move back to the bench for the returning Draymond Green. Having just begun his 19th season in the league, it will be the first time Paul comes off the bench in 1,366 combined regular season and playoff games.
Eyes will be focused on Chris Paul when he comes off the bench for the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets.
Paul’s role at the Warriors has been a source of much speculation since the blockbuster trade to acquire him in June. The 12-time All-Star initially appeared hesitant to take on a sixth-man role, somewhat defying those who viewed it as a foregone conclusion.
However, Paul did come off the bench in Golden State’s fourth preseason game against the Sacramento Kings, hardly missing a beat in finishing with 13 points, six rebounds and nine assists in nearly 30 minutes of action.
Paul was reinserted into the starting lineup in their final preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs, with Green’s ankle injury extending the timeline to when this decision would have to be made.
It’s ultimately an unsurprising one — the starting unit of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney had the best net rating of any lineup to play more than 250 minutes together last season.
Paul’s importance will remain magnified with Green on a minutes restriction, while his orchestration of the second unit will continue to provide immense value. Although his move to the bench may be a common occurrence, the decision may also be taken in part to manage Paul ahead of Monday’s second night of a back-to-back in New Orleans.
Fellow veteran point-guard Stephen Curry and exciting third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga are available having both initially been listed as questionable with left foot soreness.