After gaining some confidence in the NBA G-League earlier in the year, the second-year guard came back a much different player, much to the excitement of Warriors fans.
Poole seemed to grow as the season progressed, a persistent wrist injury to Kelly Oubre Jr. allowing him greater playing time and responsibility down the stretch of the regular season.
The Golden State Warriors needed to find that electric threat off the bench, and they may have done just that with the rise of Jordan Poole.
In his last ten games, including the two play-in games against the Lakers and Grizzlies, Poole averaged 17.2 points in just over 25 minutes per game, boasting a healthy 50 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range.
After rapid growth in improvement during his second season, fans and the Warriors front office are contemplating where Poole’s future lies as an NBA player.
Let’s start with the short term – next season.
Firstly, Poole’s progression may play a large role in how far the Warriors will go to re-sign Oubre. Barring a major trade altering the starting lineup, Oubre would re-sign in the knowledge that he’d be a sixth man should Klay Thompson return fit and healthy.
There’s the very real possibility that the Warriors choose not to re-sign Oubre because they’re happy with Poole as their designated sixth man.
If a sixth man role were to eventuate, Warriors fans and the front office would be ecstatic with a replica of Poole’s last ten games.
A full season averaging 17 points on close to 50/40/90 shooting splits, that’s good enough for Sixth Man of the Year honors. Given his upward trajectory, it’s not out of the realms of possibility at least within the next few seasons.
Moving further into the future, does Poole become a solid starting player on a good playoff team? Perhaps so, but it’s unlikely to be at the Warriors unless they were willing to move on from one of the most loved players in franchise history, Klay Thompson.
It’s a difficult position for the Warriors to be in; what if he were to be traded at some point only to develop into an All-Star caliber player? That’s a ceiling that seems quite unlikely but has nevertheless been mentioned by fans on social media.
For now, the Warriors have Poole under contract for less than $2.2 million next season, one that could become one of the most team-friendly contracts in the league.
That in itself adds to Poole’s growing value around the league, something the Warriors may offer should they be planning a major trade in the next 12 months.