Warriors Coach Steve Kerr Shares Chris Paul Injury Update

Warriors guard Chris Paul

Getty Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball as he is defended by D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State Warriors veteran point guard Chris Paul will soon return to the lineup, coach Steve Kerr told reporters following Wednesday’s practice.

“He’s doing great,” Kerr said of Paul. “[He] Just played 5-on-5, took part in our whole practice. He’s getting close. He won’t play [Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers], but he’s feeling really good. He played a lot over the All-Star break, he told me, so the next step is for the training staff to get a feel for where he is conditioning-wise and just make sure everything is set for him to be out there.”

The 38-year-old Paul has not played since breaking his hand on January 5 against the Detroit Pistons. He would return to a much different Warriors team, who have found lift from some of their younger players on their roster especially Jonathan Kuminga and rookie guard Brandin Podziemski.

It will be interesting to see how Kerr will manage the rotation again once Paul returns to the lineup. The future Hall of Famer would return with his 6th Man role now occupied by Klay Thompson.

Paul also has to adjust to playing more with Thompson in the second unit, who has been demoted in favor of Podziemski. The 12-time NBA All-Star point guard is averaging 8.9 points, 7.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds for the Warriors this season.

Steph Curry Weighs in on Klay Thompson’s Demotion

Stephen Curry found it weird Thompson was not starting next to him in the Warriors backcourt. But he was happy with the way Thompson responded to his demotion.

“For him, there’s only one way for him to respond: the way that he did,” Curry told ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I think there’s been a lot of narratives around his season and since he’s come back from his injuries – a lot unfair.”

Thompson played his best game of the season — pouring in a season-high 35 points in his first game off the bench since his rookie year.

“I think the natural evolution of all of our careers is trying to figure out how to continue to win, but it might look a little different,” Curry said. “The way that he responded is the Klay Thompson that I know — the true competitor, the true dawg. He got pissed off and said, ‘Watch this.’ I think a lot of it is just knowing who he is.”

Jonathan Kuminga’s Extension Projection

ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks projected Kuminga’s extension to be on par with what Jaden McDaniels had received from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“Probably what you’re looking at in Minnesota with Jaden McDaniels,” Marks said on 95.7 The Game’s “Willard and Dibs” on February 21. “He got five [years] for $136 [million]. You’re probably looking at $30 million per year.”

Kuminga’s rise started after The Athletic reported he had lost faith in Kerr. Since they patched things up in a sit-down meeting, the 23-year-old forward averaged 20.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 19 games, including an eight-game stretch of scoring 20-plus points.

The Warriors are intent on locking him up long-term after making him untouchable in trade talks.

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