All offseason long, there have been questions about what the Golden State Warriors will do with their starting lineup now that future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul is with the team and could potentially come off the bench. Since Draymond Green is currently injured with an ankle sprain, there seems to be a clearer answer to this question, as head coach Steve Kerr announced on Tuesday that Paul will be in the starting lineup for the team's first preseason game.
When asked by reporters if Paul would start alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney with Green hurt, Kerr made it clear that this would be the plan before their first preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday, October 7.
“Those five guys will start the first game, so you can tweet that out,” Kerr jokingly told reporters, video courtesy of The Athletic's Anthony Slater. “As I said in camp, we are going to try a bunch of different lineups throughout the exhibition season. They'll start the first game and we'll see after that.”
The Warriors will start Steph Curry, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney in the preseason opener.
Here is Steve Kerr on the first practice today. That group scrimmaged together. pic.twitter.com/yKFG7HIjn1
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 3, 2023
All throughout the summer, Kerr and the Warriors have been non-committal as to what their starting lineup would look like on opening night. As long as Draymond is sidelined with his ankle injury, it is safe to assume that Paul will be the starting point guard. Then again, the Warriors head coach only confirmed this for the first preseason game, as no final decision has been made for when Golden State begins the 2023-24 season on October 24 against the Phoenix Suns.
Over the course of his 18 years in the NBA, Paul has played for five different organizations, not including the Warriors. He's played in 1,214 career games and has started in every single game he has played in, so coming off the bench would be something new for the 38-year-old.
“For me, I actually had an opportunity in '08 to come off the bench for the Olympic team and that went pretty well. Anybody who knows me knows that I'm all about winning,” Paul told reporters during Media Day on Monday. “Whatever I can do to help our team win, so I know Coach and us going to talk about it and see what it looks like. We been hooping all summer and I think for the season, it's going to be whatever to help our team win. I've at least tried to show and prove that my entire career.”
While they will be smaller with Paul taking the court with Curry and Thompson, this three-guard lineup does present a lot of upside to the Warriors, especially on offense given this team's shooting abilities. Golden State and Kerr will likely keep their real starting lineup or bench intentions with Chris Paul a secret through the end of training camp and the preseason.