2 Lakers Key Stars to Miss Chris Paul’s Warriors Preseason Debut

Chris Paul, Warriors

Getty Chris Paul #3 of the Golden State Warriors poses for a picture during the Warriors' media day.

Chris Paul will start on his preseason debut with the Golden State Warriors against conference rival Los Angeles Lakers. However, his Banana Boat buddy, LeBron James, will just be watching on the bench.

“Six preseason games, so hopefully I can get to at least half of them,” James said via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin after practice Thursday. “But we’ll see. I think every game will dictate it. I will not be playing in Saturday’s game, that’s for sure, in the Bay. But we’ll see after that.”

The 38-year-old James, entering his 21st NBA season as the oldest active player, is 100% healthy but is expected to pace himself for the regular season after missing 27 games due to a foot injury last season.

Austin Reeves, the Lakers breakout player in the playoffs, will also miss Saturday’s game after his lengthy run in the FIBA World Cup with Team USA.

Paul, who is only a few months younger than James, do not have the luxury to sit out games early in the season with Draymond Green injured and the need to get speed up with the Warriors system.

The Warriors small starting backcourt of Paul and Stephen Curry have been spending more time post-practice to familiarize each other on the court.

“We’re going to run plenty of pick-and-roll because Chris is one of the best pick-and-roll players in the world,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “But he’s also showing he’s very interested in incorporating some of the stuff we already do.”

Chris Paul Open to Come off the Bench

Paul is open to playing off the bench for the top-heavy Warriors if that is what it takes for them to win.

“Actually, I had the opportunity to come off the bench in ’08 for the Olympic team,” Paul told reporters during Monday’s Warriors Media Day. “That went pretty well, and I think anybody who knows me knows that I’m all about winning. I mean whatever I can do to help our team win.”

Paul is at the tail-end of a great NBA career with only a championship missing in his resume.

The veteran guard said he’s proven in his entire career that he’s all about winning. His track record backs him up, with every team he’s joined showing marked improvement in their win totals.

Klay Thompson on Extension Talks

Klay Thompson shared an emotional perspective on the ongoing contract extension talks, which expectedly is taking time to be sealed.

“I think it’s possible [that a contract extension will be signed next month],” Thompson told reporters during Monday’s Media Day before turning emotional, “and if not, life is still great like I’m playing basketball in my 13th year in the NBA. So, I have no complaints about whatever the future has in store. Like I’ve done so many great things in this uniform, and I know there are many more memories to create.”

Thompson and the Warriors are on the same page that they want to continue their partnership. The only holdup is the financial terms.

Thompson wants max. The Warriors want a discount.

Someone’s gotta give.

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