The Golden State Warriors pulled off one of the more interesting trades of the NBA’s offseason when they turned Jordan Poole into Chris Paul. In a big picture sense, trading Poole for Paul indicated that Golden State is all-in on trying to win around its core of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, with any hope of a two-timeline approach that sacrificed a little bit now with an eye on being able to compete on a longer timetable going out the window.
But for just next year, there’s a question about how Paul will fit into everything, in part because he made clear he would like to stay in the starting lineup. Regardless, in an interview with Robin Lundberg of Sports Illustrated, Steve Kerr made clear the team found it “hugely important” to bring Paul on board in an effort to make the team less one-dimensional.
"Our team last year needed another way to attack. We became a little too one dimensional with Steph [Curry] in high ball screens. We needed another playmaker to give us a different look."
Steve Kerr on the Warriors adding Chris Paul.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) August 6, 2023
“Chris is such an incredible competitor,” Kerr said. “He’s one of the all-time great competitors in my mind. He’s so smart, he controls games, he’s thinking three steps ahead all the time, he gets any shot he wants in the midrange. Our team last year needed another way to attack, and we became a little too one-dimensional with Steph and high ball screens. We needed another playmaker to give us a different look. And Chris is, as we know, one of the all-time great pick-and-roll players, and he’ll know how to control the tempo. It’s hugely important, especially in playoff games, to have guys like that and they’re hard to find.”
A major issue for the Warriors over the years has been keeping their offense afloat when Curry rests, and at the bare minimum, Paul should help with that. If there is a way for him and Curry together — and it’s not 100 percent clear that there is, as that would be a backcourt that has some serious defensive limitations — Paul could theoretically be a major on-ball option to unlock Curry’s ability to frustrate teams with his ability to get open off of the ball. At the very least, Kerr seems excited to explore any and all options with his new guard.