Warriors’ Steph Curry, Chris Paul Exempted From New NBA Policy

Joe Lacob Steve Kerr

Getty Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob and head coach Steve Kerr attend the 2022 NBA Summer League.

Golden State Warriors franchise superstar Stephen Curry and new addition Chris Paul could be exempted from the NBA Player Participation policy, which aims to curb stars’ load management.

Under the new resting policy, a star is defined as any player who, in any of the prior three seasons, was selected to an All-NBA Team or an NBA All-Star team and the current season’s All-Star Game.

But there is an exception to the rule, which could benefit the aging Warriors core.

According to ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks, “The NBA will allow pre-approved designated back-to-back allowances for players who are 35 years old on opening night or have career workloads of 34,000 regular-season minutes or 1,000 regular-season and playoff games combined.”

Curry, 35, and Paul, 38, are two of the eight stars who fall under this category.

What Warriors Must Do to Apply for Exemption

The Warriors will have 15 back-to-back sets, marking its fourth-straight season with 15 back-to-backs, including six of the home-and-home schedule. Seven of the back-to-back sets will be on the road, where the NBA is trying to balance the number of one-game absences for a star player in home and road games.

According to Marks, “If a team feels that a star player is unable to play in back-to-back games, it must provide to the NBA written information at least one week prior explaining why the player’s participation should be limited.”

Steve Kerr and the Warriors will toe a delicate balancing act between playing Paul to build chemistry with their core and resting him for the playoffs. The same applies to Curry.

Violating resting rules will incur over a $1 million fine.

“If a team violates any of the above rules, it is subject to a fine of $100,000 for the first violation, $250,000 for the second violation and $1.25 million for a third violation. A team will be fined $1 million more than its previous penalty for any violations beyond the third,” Marks reported.

Chris Paul Expected to Start

Paul is expected to start alongside Stephen Curry at the Warriors backcourt on his first season with them, according to ESPN and Andscape’s senior writer Marc Spears.

“I do expect him to start. And I think it’s like five-minute spurts,” Spears said on the September 7 episode of the Yahoo Sports Ball Don’t Lie’s Good Word with Goodwill podcast. “I don’t know that they really want his minutes to be high, but I think they’re gonna try it. I could be wrong, but that’s the gist I’m getting. This isn’t an opinion that he’s expected to start. It’s what I’m hearing. He’s never not started in his career.”

Last season, the Warriors’ most used starting lineup was Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. Green had been effective as a small-ball center whenever Kerr paired Curry and the 6-foot-4 Poole at the backcourt so that leaves Looney as the odd man out.

In August, Kerr deferred deciding on Paul’s role with the team.

“I think that’ll be a case where you get three weeks of training camp before that first game,” Kerr told ESPN in August. “We’ll just look at all kinds of different combinations.”

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