Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is in a massive conundrum as he has six starters heading into the new NBA season. The acquisition of Chris Paul has changed the dynamics around the whole team and while he brings in a lot of experience, versatility and elevates the team’s collective quality, he is also someone who hasn’t started from the bench in his NBA career.
So it will be interesting to see how the Warriors will line up in their opening game of the new season with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green also expected to be in the starting five. So there are two options present and they are Kevon Looney and Andrew Wiggins. One of them will have to be sacrificed according to the strategy and the opponents on each particular day to fit in with Chris Paul.
Removing Wiggins or Loney and adding CP3 makes the Warriors’ lineup very small. Lack of size has been an issue for them in the past. Meanwhile, it wouldn’t be easy to persuade Paul to take up a bench role and lead the second unit.
Kerr stated that they have six starters but he hasn’t decided on a lineup yet and wants to see them in the training camp before taking a call. “We basically have six starters, the way I look at it. And only five can go each night. So, I haven’t decided yet what we’re gonna do. I’m wanna see in training camp.”
Kerr feels that the players must embrace their roles and all of them should be open to changes in the lineup. However, he assures his players that all six of them will be getting a lot of minutes. “We’re gonna try different combinations and take a look. Obviously, all six guys are gonna play a lot of minutes for us. If this is gonna work, then everybody has to embrace it regardless of who’s starting and who’s not,” Kerr added.
The Warriors have replaced Jordan Poole with Chris Paul in the offseason. Poole came off the bench and played as Curry’s direct replacement. On occasions, he has also played with Curry on the same lineup. But he was majorly versatile and had embraced the role given to him.
Steve Kerr requires this kind of versatility from Chris Paul. He needs a leader for his second unit and Paul can be that ideal player who can lead the likes of Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. Paul has been effective in guiding young inexperienced players over the last few seasons and that’s one area the Warriors want to be good at.
Placing Paul in the starting five will create an extremely small lineup which can be a major issue against some specific teams. It will also break the synergy that the players already have among them. So only a sacrificial role from Paul will help the Warriors flourish and benefit from this trade. Or else, there is a major possibility of things going downhill if Paul isn’t ready to accept the role given to him.