Golden State Warriors GM gets real on meshing Chris Paul with team amid their testy history

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this offseason, the Golden State Warriors traded Jordan Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ryan Rollins, a 2027 second-round pick, 2030 first-round pick and cash considerations to the Washington Wizards in exchange for star point guard Chris Paul.

Golden State general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. recently admitted that there may be “awkwardness or uncomfortableness” meshing Paul with the Warriors following their history of battling against each other in the postseason.

“Yeah, I think you realize that these guys are all adults,” Dunleavy told The Athletic. “Our guys that have been here, the veterans plus Chris, who has been around the league played many years, they all have one thing in common at this point in their careers. They want to win. And that common thread, we felt like, will unify the group. There may be some awkwardness or uncomfortableness, which I think probably is more so in the media than it is with these guys. I mean, they’re already connected, getting together in different areas, playing.”

Paul was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft following a two-season stint playing college basketball at Wake Forest University. He averaged 14-plus points and five-plus assists in each of his two seasons as a member of the Demon Deacons.

Paul’s best season of college basketball came during his sophomore season, the 2004-05 season. He put up stats of 15.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game across 32 games played with the Demon Deacons as a sophomore (31 starts).

His contributions on both ends of the floor translated into a modest amount of success for the 2004-05 iteration of the Demon Deacons. They finished the season with an impressive 27-6 record but lost to West Virginia University in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 by a final score of 111-105. Paul scored 22 points and dished out nine assists in the loss.

The 38-year-old point guard has played for five teams — the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder — across his 18 seasons in the NBA. Paul averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game in 59 games played with the Suns during the 2022-23 regular season (all starts).

Also, he shot the ball with solid accuracy from the field, seeing as he converted 44.0 percent of his field-goal attempts and 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts.

Unfortunately for Suns fans, Paul didn’t quite carry over his play from the 2022-23 regular season into the 2023 postseason. The floor general averaged 12.4 points and 7.4 assists per game across seven playoff games but shot just 41.8 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from behind the three-point arc.

Warriors fans shouldn’t be worried about Paul getting acclimated to his new team. After all, he wants to win a ring, and the Warriors have a great shot at winning the NBA title in 2024.

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Jesse is an aspiring sports journalist that has previously worked as a staff writer at SB Nation’s CelticsBlog and The Knicks Wall.