The Golden State Warriors are in for a crucial offseason as they transition from one brain trust to another following the departure of longtime general manager Bob Myers. In particular, they must decide what to do with Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green’s futures as they attempt to extend the team’s window of contention with Stephen Curry.
In fact, some believe that the Warriors may be able to sign LeBron James away from the Los Angeles Laker. That might not be that unlikely, though, given James’ dedication to the squad and his rumored desire to play alongside Kyrie Irving for the Dallas Mavericks.
James might not be reachable, but one of his friends from the banana boat is.
According to reports, the Phoenix Suns intend to waive future Hall of Famer Chris Paul in an effort to avoid paying his $30.8 million cap charge for the upcoming campaign. Paul could still return to the Suns by accepting a lesser annual contract, so it’s not like his departure is a certain.
But it’s evident that the Suns are looking at ways to increase their depth with the resources they do have, and part of that involves having to let go of Paul, whether through a formal release or a trade.
Whatever the situation, the Warriors may have the chance to increase their depth for a low cost.
Here are some reasons Chris Paul is ideal for the Warriors as they attempt one last run at contending.
Why Chris Paul is a strong fit for Warriors alongside Stephen Curry
If the Warriors are able to persuade CP3 to sign with them in free agency, there is just no chance Chris Paul will start alongside Stephen Curry. Although Paul has certainly slipped off several levels from his defensive peak, he may still be a strong defender, but the backcourt is too small.
Even though Paul is already 38 years old, it’s unclear if he would be willing to sit on the bench against the Warriors, a team he has frequently faced off against in the past. But if he does, it gives the Warriors the chance to make a number of progresses toward returning to their title-contending ways.
Jordan Poole is the proverbial “elephant in the room,” so to speak. In general, Poole is the Warriors’ second unit’s captain and a competent starter if Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson need a break.
Unfortunately, Poole’s performance suffered significantly during the 2023 NBA playoffs, which resulted in an all-time low in value given his $28 million salary for the upcoming season.
So what does Jordan Poole’s acquisition of Chris Paul have to do with it?
Paul offers the Warriors solid backcourt protection in case they decide to trade Poole. With Poole’s pay, the Dubs should be able to find players that will complement Stephen Curry and company more naturally (OG Anunoby comes to mind). The acquisition of Paul helps allay worries about doing that without the certainty of a reliable Curry backup.
In the meantime, adding Chris Paul has a lot of basketball-related benefits. Paul doesn’t play in the Warriors’ motion-based offense, which has existed since 2014. He enjoys using his mastery of pick-and-roll to pound the rock, slow down the game, and give his opponents headaches.
However, head coach Steve Kerr isn’t the type of coach that forces his players to play a certain manner. Kerr constantly adjusts. Paul should be given complete authority to run the offense however he pleases, operating as a second coach on the court given his expertise and knowledge, especially when Stephen Curry is taking a break.
Paul will eventually need to pick up how to play next to Curry. If he doesn’t, buying Paul will be pointless. However, there are several possible scenarios in which Paul may compete against the greatest shooter in history.
Chris Paul, for example, might serve as a playmaking hub in the post. Although he hasn’t done it frequently, he can easily operate from the block because he is a master of the midrange. By that time, the Warriors can execute their recognizable split moves while relying on Paul to make the correct pass ten out of ten times.
Paul’s injury-prone body may benefit from operating off the post in order to avoid further harm during the tough postseason grind.
The Dubs should seize the chance if Paul indicates a willingness to sign at a bargain.