In June, the Golden State Warriors pulled off a surprise trade to land future Hall of Famer Chris Paul, which immediately led to questions about how he would fit in. Fortunately, with training camp set to start later this month, his role with the Warriors next season appears to have been revealed by NBA insider Marc Spears.
With Paul expected to start for Golden State during the 2023–24 season, it will force them to push another player to the second unit. Obviously, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson aren’t about to get benched, and Paul joining them in the starting lineup likely indicates that both stars will slide over a position. That means that one of Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, or Kevon Looney will come off the bench.
How Chris Paul starting could impact the Golden State Warriors next season.
While the most obvious option would be Looney, that doesn’t seem likely since it would force Green to start at center, something that Coach Steve Kerr seems unlikely to do. Instead, Wiggins could be the odd man out of the starting lineup, though that doesn’t mean that the all-star wing will see fewer minutes.
Paul may start, but he probably won’t play big minutes—possibly just the first six minutes of each half, a few minutes in the second and fourth quarters, and the closing lineup depending on the matchup. Meanwhile, Wiggins could still average around 30 minutes, come in around the six-minute mark of the first and third quarters, play 10-minute stretches, then potentially close games. He may also benefit from playing with the second unit, allowing him to be more aggressive.
Ultimately, the decision to start Paul is probably partly to appease him and partly because he will allow Curry to play more off-ball. That could make things easier for Curry, who will draw a lot of defensive attention while still being able to get free for open threes.
It could also help the Warriors offense get off to fast starts, though it will force Wiggins to adjust to a new role. With the Warriors’ first preseason game less than a month away, we’ll soon see how Paul looks in the starting lineup.