Former teammate praises Golden State Warriors' veteran amid new role

Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Five
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Five / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Despite the Golden State Warriors' disappointing 9-11 record through 20 games, Chris Paul's fit with the franchise has gone just about as well as many could have expected.

The veteran point-guard has missed the last two games with a leg injury, but has otherwise been a valuable addition to Golden State after he was acquired by the franchise in a blockbuster trade during the offseason.

A former teammate of Chris Paul hasn't been surprised by the 12-time All-Star's ability to accept a sixth-man role with the Golden State Warriors

In his introductory press conference soon after the trade, Paul made headlines when he seemingly scoffed at the presumption that he would take the sixth-man role vacated by the departing Jordan Poole.

Any concerns were overstated though, with the 38-year-old willing to move back to the bench upon the return of Draymond Green in the third game of the season. It was the first time in over 1300 career regular season and playoff games that Paul had come off the bench.

The future hall-of-famer has averaged 8.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 7.3 assists for the Warriors, having averaged nearly five minutes less than what he did with the Phoenix Suns last season.

Chris Paul, Devin Booker
Chris Paul guarded by former teammate Devin Booker during a game between the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns. / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Speaking recently on the Club Shay Shay podcast with Shannon Sharpe, Paul's former teammate Trevor Ariza praised him for his ability to adjust to the new role on the back of a desire to win an elusive NBA championship.

""CP is one of those people that his game can change with the situation. I don't think it bothers him that he's coming off the bench, I just think that if it's best for the team, then he's willing to do that at this point of his career," Ariza said."

Ariza and Paul were teammates on the 2017-18 Houston Rockets squad that ultimately lost Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals to Golden State. Having won his own championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009, Ariza adamantly responded "no" when asked by Sharpe whether Paul could his win first title with the Warriors.

Paul currently leads Golden State in total plus-minus so far this season, with the franchise needing him back on the floor as they languish in 11th in the Western Conference.