NBA basketball returns Oct. 24. We are counting down the days like the seconds on a shot clock — literally, that’s what we’re doing. As of Oct. 1, our writers will list 24 storylines heading into the 2023-24 NBA season.
A new storyline will drop each day. Here is No. 23:
Even with Chris Paul, it will be difficult for the Warriors to make another championship run.
For someone who has banked more than $300 million in career salary, is considered a generational point guard and sells insurance on the side, is it possible to have sympathy for Chris Paul?
Well, perhaps. You can’t have everything in life, no matter how blissful it seems. In the case of Paul, he’s still trying to claim a championship. At 38, with his production starting to dip, time is ticking.
He needs the Warriors more than they need him. And that last part is important — Paul doesn’t appear to be a championship difference-maker for a team already blessed with guards. Stephen Curry is still elite, Klay Thompson is on the rebound following injuries, and there’s also Gary Payton II and even Moses Moody.
Paul will obviously carve out a role and minutes because his pick-and-roll and mid-range game remains pure, but he’s likely to see time off the bench, much like Jordan Poole before him.
Besides, the Warriors aren’t the clear-cut heavyweight in the West or the NBA anymore. They’re not as rich with talent and the competition is thicker. Are the Warriors really beyond the defending-champion Denver Nuggets, the Kevin Durant-infused Phoenix Suns, the healthy (fingers crossed) LA Clippers or the Los Angeles Lakers in LeBron James’ last stand?
One could even ask about the uprising in Sacramento, where the Warriors needed a seventh game and a 50-piece from Curry to deny the thirsty Kings last spring.
Paul is a proud, Hall of Fame-bound, all-time great who has made every team he ever joined better than before he arrived. But again, he needs the Warriors more than they need him.
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