1 Warriors player in danger of losing starting job in 2023-24 NBA training camp

The Golden State Warriors didn’t quite have the season they were hoping for in 2022-23. After their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green won their fourth championship together the season prior, they won only 44 games, and though they got past the plucky young Kings in the first round to set up a highly anticipated match-up with LeBron James in the Lakers, they were sent packing in the Conference Semis in six games.

With their three aforementioned stars all entering their mid-30s, time is running out for them to win a fifth championship together, but as if to prove their absolute commitment to the now even further they went ahead and added an even older star to their roster by signing Chris Paul. He might not be the dominant point guard he once was, but he can still pick apart a defense like few others in the league and, as a 12x All-Star who was on that team as recently as the season before last, it’s hard to see him coming off the bench. In fact, in his nearly two decades in the league, he hasn’t done that even once.

Which means that one of the Warriors trusty starters is more than likely headed for the bench. Of course, typically we’d be looking at a guard for the Point God to replace, but we can pretty safely assume that neither Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson is going to lose their spot. Over their period of success, the Warriors have had no qualms for playing non-traditional lineups, and that may very well continue with the move of the player whose spot Paul is most likely to take to the bench.

Kevon Looney

The most traditional of point guards replacing the Warriors center is, on face value, a strange move, but it’s the most likely one that Steve Kerr will opt for. As mentioned, he’s certainly not sending Curry or Thompson to the bench, and Wiggins has become a really valuable member of their starting lineup too. That leaves Green and Looney, and Green’s certainly not going anywhere either.

Looney has played an important role as the five for the Warriors, and last season was his best in the NBA. He enjoyed career highs in basically every statistical category, and only got better as the season wore on. In the playoffs he took it to another level, putting together a number of huge games – he had 18 rebounds or more in five of 13 games, each of those consisting of at least 7 offensive, while he also pushed double-figure assists on a couple of occasions too. His ability to rebound on an otherwise undersized team, as well as his high IQ and capacity to facilitate for his more offensively gifted teammates, means that he is a player the Warriors have really come to rely on.

He will still have a key role to play for the team in season 2023-24, but it appears likely that he will come off the bench to do it. That’s certainly not to diminish the role he will play for the team and pending matchups he may very well start from time to time, but Golden State have shown that they have no issue playing the small-ball lineup with Draymond at the five which has served them so well over the years. If Chris Paul starts this season, then it’s most likely going to be at the expense of Kevon Looney.

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