This is shaping up to be a pivotal offseason for the Golden State Warriors — not only are they transitioning from one brain trust to another following the departure of longtime general manager Bob Myers, they'll also have a ton of decisions to make regarding the futures of Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green especially as they try to prolong the franchise's window of contention with Stephen Curry.
In fact, some think that it's a possibility for the Warriors to acquire LeBron James from the Los Angeles Laker. However, that may be so far-fetched given James' commitment to the franchise, not to mention the rumored interest in a team-up with Kyrie Irving in Dallas Mavericks colors.
James might not be attainable, but one of his banana boat pals are.
The Phoenix Suns reportedly plan to waive Chris Paul, the future Hall of Famer, in an effort to relieve themselves of his $30.8 million cap hit for next season. Now, the Suns could still re-sign Paul to a lower annual salary, so it's not like it's a foregone conclusion that he'd be going elsewhere.
But the Suns are clearly exploring their options on how to improve their depth with their limited means, and that entails having to let go of Paul, whether via finalizing his release or via trade.
Whatever the case may be, the opportunity may be there for the Warriors to add to their depth for a cheap price.
Here is why Chris Paul is a perfect fit for the Warriors as they try to push for one last contending hurrah.
Why Chris Paul is a strong fit for Warriors alongside Stephen Curry
There's simply no way the Warriors will be starting Chris Paul alongside Stephen Curry should they manage to convince CP3 to sign with them in free agency. Paul might be a stout defender even though he has clearly fallen off multiple levels from his defensive peak, but that is too undersized a backcourt.
It's not quite clear if Paul, despite being 38 years old already, would be willing to take a bench role, especially with the Warriors, a team that he has had plenty of battles against in the past. But if he does, it allows the Warriors to accomplish multiple things in their quest to get back to title-contending ways.
First off, we must talk about the elephant in the room in Jordan Poole. Poole is, by and large, the leader of the Warriors' second unit, a capable starter whenever Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson need a breather.
Alas, Poole experienced a steep decline in performance during the 2023 NBA playoffs, putting his value at an all-time low given his $28 million salary for next season.
So what does acquiring Chris Paul have to do with Jordan Poole?
Paul gives the Warriors a strong insurance in the backcourt in the event they explore trading away Poole. Poole's salary should allow the Dubs to acquire a more seamless fit alongside Stephen Curry and company (OG Anunoby comes to mind). Doing that without the assurance of a solid Curry backup may not be the best idea, so acquiring Paul helps erase concerns regarding that.
Meanwhile, there are also plenty of basketball reasons to add Chris Paul. Paul doesn't play in a motion-based offense like the Warriors have done since 2014. He loves to pound the rock, slow down the pace, and induce headaches in his opponents with his pick-and-roll wizardry.
But head coach Steve Kerr isn't exactly a coach who's stuck playing in a certain way. Kerr always adapts. Especially when Stephen Curry is resting, Paul should have the ultimate freedom to commandeer the offense as he pleases, acting like a second coach out there on the court given his experience and knowhow.
In the end, Paul will have to learn how to play alongside Curry. Acquiring Paul will be a moot point if he doesn't. But there are plenty of ways off the top of one's head as to how Paul may play alongside the greatest shooter of all time.
For starters, Chris Paul could very well act as a playmaking hub in the post. He hasn't done it often, but since he's a master of the midrange, he can comfortably operate off the block. By then, the Warriors can run their signature split actions, trusting Paul to make the right pass ten times out of ten.
Allowing Paul to operate off the post may also be helpful when it comes to preserving his injury-prone body for the grueling grind that awaits in the playoffs.
If Paul signals a willingness to sign for cheap, the Dubs should be all over that opportunity.