Chris Paul Looks Forward to New Chapter in San Antonio with Victor Wembanyama

The 12-time All-Star point guard has led youthful teams in the past, but never with a player of Victor Wembanyama's caliber.
Anna Ciao
By: Anna Ciao

 

Chris Paul Looks Forward to New Chapter in San Antonio with Victor Wembanyama
Chris Paul

Point guard Chris Paul remarked on Tuesday that having Victor Wembanyama on board "certainly didn't hurt" San Antonio in their free agency pitch, noting that "there's probably no player everyone in the league talks about more after the game" than the 20-year-old Frenchman.

Now, at 39, Paul aims to be a catalyst alongside Wembanyama in sparking discussions about a potential resurgence for the Spurs. The 12-time All-Star recently inked a one-year deal with San Antonio, joining veteran forward Harrison Barnes as part of a leadership duo tasked with guiding the Spurs, who fielded the NBA's youngest squad last season with an average age of 23.52. Paul and Barnes arrived in San Antonio on Monday, engaging in a morning weight training session on Tuesday before meeting with the media.

"I’m not here to make promises about what we’ll achieve," said Chris Paul on Tuesday. "We need to come together and define our goals, and commit to helping each other reach them. My goal is always the same: to win every game. If you’re not playing to win, why play at all?"

Paul, third all-time in assists (11,894), fills a critical need for the Spurs this offseason. Despite drafting Stephon Castle as their potential future point guard with the No. 4 pick, Paul can bridge the gap until Castle is ready, while also serving as a savvy facilitator for Victor Wembanyama and imparting veteran wisdom to the young Spurs.

In his 19-year NBA career, Paul has thrived in similar roles with young teams, mentoring stars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Oklahoma City (2019-20) and Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges in Phoenix (2020-23). Reflecting on his experience, Paul emphasizes mutual learning: "I take my role seriously but I’m also here to learn from these guys. I’ve joined younger teams before and I’m excited to share what I know and absorb what they can teach me."

Harrison Barnes, 32, highlighted the value of Paul's leadership: "Experience can’t be rushed," he noted. "Chris’s presence will make the game easier for Wembanyama, who showed promise across all scoring levels in his rookie season."

Last season with Golden State, Paul, who started 18 of 58 games, averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 assists. He is expected to start for the Spurs next season.

"Paul has the ability to put Wembanyama in positions to score," Barnes continued. "He understands how to maximize his teammates’ scoring efforts, which will benefit Vic tremendously."

Paul shared his excitement about joining the Spurs, noting that discussions with coach Gregg Popovich played a pivotal role in his decision: "Popovich made it clear he wants me to be myself," Paul said. "That made me feel valued and wanted here."

While acknowledging the sacrifices of being away from his family during the season, Paul emphasized his passion for playing: "I love basketball so much that I’m willing to be away from home. My family knows my commitment, and I’m grateful for their support and excited to be here."

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Anna Ciao
Written by: Anna Ciao
Anna Ciao is a sports content contributor at Betimate. Born and raised in a rural village in China, I have had a passion for football and various sports such as basketball, volleyball, badminton, from a young age. Along with diligent studies, I achieved an IELTS score of 8.0 in the English language, and I have become a content contributor specializing in sports, particularly football, as I am today. I hope that my articles are helpful to readers.

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