Steve Kerr on plans for Chris Paul's Golden State Warriors career after trade

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Steve Kerr will look to integrate Chris Paul into the starting five to flourish alongside Steph Curry (Image: Getty Images)
Steve Kerr will look to integrate Chris Paul into the starting five to flourish alongside Steph Curry (Image: Getty Images)

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr offered an insight into his plans for Chris Paul following the trade acquisition of the 12-time All-Star.

Last month, the Warriors and Washington Wizards formally announced their blockbuster trade involving both Jordan Poole and Paul. The move largely took fans by surprise as the Warriors opted to shift Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ryan Rollins and multiple draft picks in exchange for the veteran point guard.

Paul has never won an NBA championship, and the Warriors - four-time champions in the last nine years - could help him cap off his illustrious career. The 38-year-old is an intriguing fit for a contender like Golden State, as he remains a tremendous competitor who can still direct a leading offensive unit.

Across his career, Paul has started all 1,214 regular season games and 149 playoff contests he has played in his 18-year career. However, with superstar Steph Curry set to occupy the backcourt, it appears Paul could suit up for the Warriors off the bench with Golden State to decide their starters during training camp in October.

“I think that'll be a case where you get three weeks of training camp before that first game,” head coach Steve Kerr told ESPN after Team USA's practice ahead of the FIBA World Cup later this month. “We'll just look at all kinds of different combinations.

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“The main thing is we know all those guys are going to play a lot of minutes. But the luxury of having Chris Paul to add to this group that we've been lucky enough to have for a decade... pretty remarkable. He is one of the great competitors in the game.

“He's one of the great point guards of all time. I think he's a great addition for us, because of his ability to control games, control tempo, take care of the ball.”

Paul’s arrival in the Bay Area grants the Warriors the freedom to rest Curry and still have an on-ball orchestrator of the offense. Last season’s starting five of Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney outscored opponents by 21.9 points per 100 possessions - the most of any lineup in the NBA with at least 100 minutes in 2022/23.

Steve Kerr on plans for Chris Paul's Golden State Warriors career after tradeChris Paul is a veteran point guard who is looking to win a maiden NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors (AP)

However, the Warriors ranked last in the league with over 16 turnovers per game and Paul resembles one of the best assist-to-turnover players in the league with 8.9 assists and 1.9 turnovers for the Phoenix Suns on average last season.

Kerr believes Paul will help the Warriors improve in that regard, adding: “We had a lot of turnovers last year. We need to improve that. And the great thing with Chris, he's so smart that he'll figure it out. Whether he's playing with Steph or without Steph. He's incredibly smart, and the whole group is really smart.

“It's been a hallmark for our team with Draymond and Steph and Klay and Andre [Iguodala] and all these guys. So you put a bunch of talented, smart players together, good things are going to happen.”

When asked about the possibility of coming off the bench last month, Paul said: “At the end of the day, it's basketball. I’m going into a situation with a bunch of guys who've been playing together for a long time.

“I’m not as worried about it as everybody else is. ... We'll figure all of that stuff out at camp.”

Paul played in 59 games for the Suns last season, averaging 13.9 points - on 44.0 percent shooting from the floor - along with 8.9 assists.

Andrew Gamble

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