When it comes to this final segment of the Golden State Warriors‘ regular season, it’s plain to see the impact and value of third-year guard Jordan Poole who continues to rewrite Warrior history.
In the absence of two-time MVP Stephen Curry, Poole has done his best to keep the Warriors afloat by doing his best Curry impression. In doing so, the 22-year-old Michigan product has joined his more experienced teammate, and former Warrior Kevin Durant, in some very exclusive company over the franchise’s last 30 years.
The Golden State Warriors have found themselves a hidden gem in Jordan Poole but will they do what it takes to keep him long-term?
While Poole’s on-court value can be measured through a range of impressive statistics, how that translates to the value of his next contract is far greater cause for debate.
Back in late February, reports emerged that the Warriors would look to sign Poole to an extension this off-season, rather than hold fire till he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of next season. One such report came from Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, delving into what that extension may be worth.
"“The Warriors also will try to sign Poole to a multiyear extension this summer, which would allow them to avoid having to deal with him in restricted free agency in 2023. Keith Smith, a salary-cap expert for Spotrac, estimates that deal to be in the four-year, $80 million range.”"
Since then, presented with even greater opportunity and ever-growing confidence, Poole has played the best basketball of his career.
Are the past 17 games a true indication of what’s to come? If so, his signature at $20 million per season would seem incredibly team-friendly. Let’s not forget that Curry’s rookie extension (four-year, $44 million) became one of the most team-friendly contracts in NBA history, one that delivered two MVPs and then allowed the Warriors to sign Durant as a free agent.
Right now, it’s almost inconceivable to think that Poole would accept such a deal. On the other hand, it could be considered irresponsible for Bob Myers and the front office to offer him anything more than that.
If Poole’s off-court mentality mirrors anything like that of on the court, it’s difficult to envisage an extension forthcoming this season. He’s fearless and he backs himself, which, mixed with a renowned work ethic, means the sky’s the limit.
Think about where Poole was 12 months ago, he wasn’t far removed from a stint in the NBA G-League. Given that kind of dramatic, exponential growth, the rising star may well bet on himself and see where things lie next off-season