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Zach LaVine on the Warriors trio of Hall-of-Fame guards: ‘They’re going to figure it out’

Sometimes things just work.

Zach LaVine driving by Steph Curry Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

We’re still a few months away from finding out whether Chris Paul will be a starter when he begins his 19th season by suiting up for the Golden State Warriors. But whether or not he does, you can be sure that we’ll see plenty of lineups featuring a Hall-of-Fame guard trio of Paul alongside the Splash Brothers, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

And it’s fair to wonder just how those minutes will go.

One person is confident that it will work out just fine: Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine. A two-time All-Star himself, who has averaged 25.1 points per game over the last five seasons, LaVine thinks the sharp shooting and basketball intelligence of the trio will win out in the end.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole recently caught up with LaVine at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament — which Curry won — and the two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion sounded optimistic about the state of the Warriors. “High-level, high-IQ guys,” LaVine said of the dynamic trio. “They’re going to figure it out, especially with how much of a threat Steph is off the ball with his movement, how Klay spaces the floor. CP can just be the floor operator. I can foresee those two, three-guard lineups.”

The Warriors have had success with the three-guard model. During their championship run in 2021-22, the Dubs outscored opponents by a shocking 32.6 points per 100 possessions in the 129 regular season minutes where Curry, Thompson, and Jordan Poole were all on the court, though that number admittedly shrank to 0.6 in 207 postseason minutes.

Poole certainly did something that Paul does not, as he had a faster trigger with his jump shot, and was more athletic. But Paul, with his ability to avoid turnovers, run a traditional pick-and-roll, catch fire from mid-range, and play strong perimeter defense, certainly brings a lot of skills that Poole didn’t have.

Needless to say, it’s going to be very interesting to see. But good players and smart players usually find a way to make things work. LaVine sees it playing out that way, and so do I.

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