Steve Kerr to look at 'all kinds' of Warriors starting combinations

LAS VEGAS -- Chris Paul has started all 1,214 regular-season games and 149 playoff games that he's played in his 18 NBA seasons.

But as the future Hall of Fame point guard prepares to suit up for the Golden State Warriors, his new coach Steve Kerr said the process of deciding the team's starters will play out over the course of training camp in October.

"I think that'll be a case where you get three weeks of training camp before that first game," Kerr told ESPN after Team USA's second day of training camp practice ahead of the FIBA World Cup later this month. "We'll just look at all kinds of different combinations.

"The main thing is we know all those guys are going to play a lot of minutes. But the luxury of having Chris Paul to add to this group that we've been lucky enough to have for a decade ... pretty remarkable. He is one of the great competitors in the game. He's one of the great point guards of all time. I think he's a great addition for us, because of his ability to control games, control tempo, take care of the ball."

Paul arrived in Golden State as part of the second trade involving him in a span of several days in June. Having first been shipped from Phoenix, where he spent the past three years with the Suns, to the Washington Wizards as part of the blockbuster Bradley Beal trade, Paul was then rerouted to the Warriors in exchange for Jordan Poole and a protected future first-round pick.

The move, in addition to giving the Warriors significant financial flexibility given Paul's contract for the 2024-25 season is fully non-guaranteed, also provides them with a potential change-of-pace tempo when Stephen Curry is off the court -- something this team has never successfully been able to create, even when Kevin Durant was on the roster.

Still, there is the issue of sorting out who will start.

Paul has a long track record of starting, but he's also entering his 19th season and is 38 years old. Meanwhile, last season's starting five of Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney outscored opponents by 21.9 points per 100 possessions, the most of any lineup in the NBA that played as many as 100 minutes last season.

When Paul was asked last month about the possibility of coming off the bench, he batted away the question.

"At the end of the day, it's basketball," Paul said, noting he hadn't talked to Kerr about his role or whether he'd start or come off the bench. "I'm going into a situation with a bunch of guys who've been playing together for a long time. I'm not as worried about it as everybody else is. ... We'll figure all of that stuff out at camp."

One thing Kerr pointed to is that Paul will certainly help taking care of the ball. Golden State ranked last in the NBA in 2022-23 with over 16 turnovers per game. While Poole averaged 4.5 assists and 3.1 turnovers per contest, Paul -- long one of the league's best assist-to-turnover players -- averaged 8.9 assists and 1.9 miscues for Phoenix.

"We had a lot of turnovers last year," Kerr told ESPN. "We need to improve that. And the great thing with Chris, he's so smart that he'll figure it out. Whether he's playing with Steph or without Steph. He's incredibly smart, and the whole group is really smart.

"It's been a hallmark for our team with Draymond and Steph and Klay and Andre [Iguodala] and all these guys. So you put a bunch of talented, smart players together, good things are going to happen."