Draymond’s health and Chris Paul’s role among 4 hot topics to follow heading into Warriors’ media day

The Warriors will hold media day Monday before beginning training camp Tuesday.

The Warriors enter the preseason determined to right the wrongs of their failed title defense.

“We need to have a good training camp,” said head coach Steve Kerr last week. “It’s imperative that we get off to a better start this year not just in terms of our record but in terms of our preparation.”

After a disappointing loss in the Western Conference semifinals, the Warriors were forced to take a hard look in the mirror. Months have passed, and the Warriors’ roster has undergone significant changes as they abandon their two-timeline strategy in favor of a win-now mentality.

During his summer vacation, Kerr did some self-reflection and admitted that he, too, needs to improve.

“It’s a lot easier for me to come in as a coach and be more demanding,” he stated. “I think the players will expect that, too.”

Buckle up, because it all begins this week.

Although camp officially begins on Tuesday, the Warriors will hold a media day on Monday. There will be numerous storylines to follow, including a battle for the 14th roster spot and Jonathan Kuminga’s need to make a significant leap in Year 3.

Here are four more hot topics to keep an eye on:

To begin…

Will Chris Paul make his debut?

That has been the question on many people’s minds since the Warriors acquired him in July. After all, in his 18 seasons in the NBA, Paul has never come off the bench.

When Paul met with reporters during summer league, he said he wouldn’t discuss his potential role until training camp. However, with the preseason opener less than a week away, it’s time to start having those discussions.

A starting lineup of Stephen Curry, Paul, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green would have significant defensive shortcomings. As a result, the Warriors could start Paul in some games while bringing him off the bench in others. But whether he’d be willing to take on that kind of role is another question.

Draymond’s condition

Green will miss the start of training camp and could miss the Warriors’ season opener against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 24, according to reports over the weekend.

Green is recovering from a sprained ankle suffered during a pickup game at Chase Center last week. Green told ESPN’s Marc Spears that swelling had already subsided as of Saturday.

A return date is expected on Monday, though Bleacher Report and ESPN reported Green could be out for at least a month.

Green signed a four-year, $100 million contract extension this summer, but he is entering one of the most important seasons of his career after his actions last October — punching Jordan Poole in training camp — cast a shadow over Golden State’s failed title defense. His legacy, thanks to four rings and eight All-Defensive team selections, may be secure, but Green’s performance this season will set the tone for the rest of his playing career.

Two C’s

“Chemistry” and “connectivity” were buzzwords at Kerr’s and Mike Dunleavy Jr.’s press conferences last week. That is expected to continue when the players meet with reporters on Monday.

Last season began with “the biggest crisis” of Kerr’s Warriors tenure and ended with a loss on the road in the second round of the playoffs, with the team’s stars maxed out. Bad habits formed during a tumultuous season haunted the Warriors for months, and there was a clear divide between young and old.

Golden State is now looking for a new beginning with an older team.

Its star players have already begun work on laying a stronger foundation this offseason, hosting workouts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas to foster camaraderie. Once the season begins, it will be clear whether the burgeoning brotherhood is more than just talk.

Thompson’s offseason and motivation

Thompson will be playing in his second full season after missing two and a half years due to back-to-back major leg injuries. He arrived at training camp last season a little late because a mental block prevented him from playing pickup ball in the summer of 2022.

Thompson’s slow start, combined with growing doubts that he was “not the same guy” after his injuries, prompted the 32-year-old to step away from social media in order to get his game back on track. It was successful. Thompson had a good season overall, despite a poor playoff series against the Lakers.

Thompson’s career will be extended if he continues to improve his game, such as by emphasizing rebounding more. However, his performance last season should give him even more confidence heading into this one.

Oh, and Thompson might be playing for something else this time.

Thompson is in the final year of his five-year, $189.9 million contract and is eligible for an extension.

Could he and the Warriors work out an extension before the season begins? Will Thompson wait and possibly experiment with free agency?

Only time will tell.

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