Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he would tackle that in the fall.
“I think that’ll be a case where you get three weeks of training camp before that first game,” Kerr told ESPN after Team USA’s Friday practice in Las Vegas. “We’ll just look at all kinds of different combinations.
Kerr’s main focus this summer is whipping up a young Team USA squad tasked to win the gold in the upcoming FIBA World Cup later this month in Manila, Philippines after a disappointing seventh-place finish in the 2019 edition.
But the biggest elephant in the room for Kerr and the Warriors is whether Paul would start alongside Stephen Curry or come off the bench next season.
The Warriors traded for Paul, the 11-time All-Star point guard, primarily for future financial flexibility and second as a complementary player to their core Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green in the hopes of extending their dynasty window.
“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,” Kerr said. “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.”
Chris Paul Takes Care of the Ball
The Warriors committed the most turnovers (1,336) around the league last season, per Stat Muse. Their 16.3 turnovers per game were the worst in the league. Poole had 3.1 of those turnovers last season, which negated his 4.5-assist average. If healthy, Paul would instantly change that.
The 38-year-old point guard has been one of the game’s best in taking care of the ball at his position, with his career average of 9.5 assists against only 2.2 turnovers. Last season, he averaged 8.9 dimes and 1.9 errors for Phoenix.
“We had a lot of turnovers last year,” Kerr told ESPN. “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.”
Chris Paul’s First Game as a Warrior Known
Paul’s first game in a Warriors uniform will come against the team’s Western Conference rival Los Angeles Lakers, led by his good friend LeBron James in the preseason.
The preseason match is set on Oct. 7 at the Chase Center at 5:30 p.m. Five days later, on Oct. 13, Paul and the Warriors visit the Lakers, who won their last playoff series, 4-2, at the Crypto.com Arena in a 7 p.m. matchup.