Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Chris Paul trade: ‘We needed a shift’

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and the rest of the organization are not yet allowed to publicly address the Chris Paul trade, but Kerr’s comments spoke volumes during Friday’s introductory press conference for 2023 NBA Draft picks Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis.

“We’re going to be a lot different,” Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. “The last thing I’m going to do is say anything about a team that just won a championship a year ago and then fought through a difficult season. Made a helluva run at the end of this year.”

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“I’ve loved this group that we’ve had the last couple years,” Steve Kerr added. “But the biggest point is that we sensed we needed a shift. Didn’t mean we needed an overhaul, but we needed a shift of some sort. I think everybody in the organization sensed that.

“And it feels like we’ve made a pretty significant shift without giving up our identity and our sense of who we are as a team. I think, all in all, it’s a very positive shift.”

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr sheds light on Chris Paul trade without actually addressing it, hopes the addition of the 18-year veteran will help free up Stephen Curry

Last Sunday, the Washington Wizards traded Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, Jordan Goodwin, Isaiah Todd, multiple second-round draft picks, and a picks swap.

This past Thursday, the Wizards then traded Paul to the Warriors for Jordan Poole, Ryan Hollins, a top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick, and a 2027 second-round pick.

Chris Paul is expected to run his style of offense with Golden State’s second unit. The 12-time All-Star may receive opportunities to close out halves with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Kerr is most adamant about improving the Warriors’ passing game. Paul can still pressure defenses and create enough separation for open shots.

“When we’ve been our best, this team has had a lot of good passing, a lot of connectors, a lot of guys who understood how to play with Steph and free him up and use his gravity to slip for layups or create shots on the other side of the floor,” Kerr mentioned.

In 59 starts with the Suns in the 2022-23 regular season, Paul averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 32 minutes per game. CP3 also shot 44% from the floor and 37.5% beyond the arc. The 18-year veteran also finished 20th in steals (91) and 12th in steal percentage (2.4%).

Paul ranks third among active guards with 21,755 career points, trailing Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden (24,693) and Los Angeles Clippers’ Russell Westbrook (24,457). Warriors’ Curry (21,712) ranks fourth overall.

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