Despite the fact that Chris Paul is more than likely to be used off the bench during the 2023-24 season, a new report indicates that the veteran superstar hasn’t closed the door on a potential starting role.
Sam Amick of The Athletic looked at a variety of NBA topics and noted that Paul’s recent comments indicate that being used as a reserve by the Golden State Warriors isn’t something he believes is a done deal.
There’s been no discussion between Chris Paul and Steve Kerr about Paul coming off the bench. “It’ll be a conversation when camp starts. Me and Steve have talked, but that ain’t something where it’s, ‘What up, man? You starting or coming off the bench.” pic.twitter.com/JYSO9hcHqE
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) July 10, 2023
“So when he pushed back against the idea that he would come off the bench for the Warriors this season during his introductory press conference in Vegas on Sunday, it’s safe to assume that he knew precisely what he was doing,” Amick wrote. “Regardless of what comes next, it’s quite clear that Paul is holding out some hope that there’s a way for him to start (and no, people, not in replacement of Steph Curry and/or Klay Thompson, but with them in a small lineup).”
Paul was part of the trade package the Phoenix Suns put together to acquire Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Not long after that deal was completed, the rebuilding Wizards sent Paul to the Warriors in exchange for Jordan Poole, whose status among his Warriors teammates was open to question.
Paul has been in the NBA since 2005, but despite that lengthy tenure, has never been part of an NBA championship squad. At age 38, the window for that dream to occur is closing, with the Warriors most likely offering one of his best chances to acquire a championship ring.
Despite that glaring omission, Paul has managed to fashion a playing career that will culminate with his election to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Over Paul’s lengthy career, he’s averaged 17.9 points, 9.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. On seven occasions, he’s averaged a double-double in points and assists per game and led the league in the latter category, most recently during the 2021-22 campaign.
In addition, Paul has also led the NBA in steals per game six times, an indication of his value on both sides of the ball.
Yet, despite those worthy numbers, the presence of future Hall of Famers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the Warriors backcourt is worth noting. A team using a small lineup that includes three guards isn’t unusual, but it’s undoubtedly the only way Paul will start for the Warriors
Paul’s scoring numbers have dipped in recent years, but he still possesses plenty of confidence as well as veteran savvy and leadership skills. Those unsung talents could give the Warriors the boost the team needs to capture another title and mark off a blank spot on Paul’s resume.