3 Golden State Warriors who need a monster second half of the season to save their job

Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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3. Chris Paul

Chris Paul's situation is a little trickier than both Looney and Wiggins, with the veteran point-guard still sidelined by a fractured hand sustained against the Detroit Pistons on January 5. While the 38-year-old is now close to returning, there's a huge question mark on what kind of role he'll be given.

Brandin Podziemski has flown up the pecking order in the guard rotation, to the point he's starting alongside franchise star Stephen Curry. Golden State have thrived with Podziemski taking more ball-handling and playmaking responsibility, with the team 8-2 in their last 10 without Paul's on-court influence.

Fans are nervous about what Paul's return will mean -- does it result in less minutes for Podziemski? Can the Warriors maintain their recent higher level of pace given the 12-time All-Star is known for his slower, more methodical half-court style?

These are all questions that have to be answered before we reach the offseason where Paul's future will most certainly be up in the air. It seems nigh on impossible that the franchise would guarantee his $30 million option for next season. In fact, the only way it may happen is if Paul returns, has a significant impact and the Warriors make an unlikely run to the NBA Finals. Perhaps then would Joe Lacob be willing to commit to Paul's contract for next season, and even then it's highly improbable.

Paul is the definition of playing for his job, both in terms of his future at the Warriors and what sort of contract he could garner from elsewhere as a free agent in the summer. At least Paul can be at ease with the fact his future Hall-of-Fame legacy is set, so the pressure perhaps isn't there like it would be with younger players.