Golden State Warriors: Unfair to judge Jordan Poole on future contract earnings

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 30: Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on October 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 30: Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on October 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images) /
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After another underwhelming performance against the Miami Heat on Tuesday, the pressure is starting to build on a number of key personnel at the Golden State Warriors. That includes explosive fourth-year guard Jordan Poole, who the franchise recently extended on a four-year, $140 million contract ($17 million in incentives).

Poole had just nine points and two assists against the Heat, shooting 3-for-10 from the field including 1-for-7 from three-point range. He also had an equal game-high five turnovers, three of which came from controversial ‘carry’ calls.

While Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole has been up-and-down through eight games this season, it’s simply unfair to judge him on the value of his next contract.

The 23-year-old is averaging 16.8 points and five assists so far this season, doing so on lower shooting splits of 44/32/80. The Athletics’ Tim Kawakami was especially critical of his game against Miami, one the Warriors lost by seven points following a fourth-quarter lead.

Although Poole’s start to the season has been less than ideal, his form has been more so inconsistent rather than anything of genuine concern — he had 30 points and four assists in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Pistons.

It’s also unfair to judge or evaluate him based on the value of his next contract. The reality is that Poole’s making a measly $3.9 million on this the last season of his rookie deal. As is the case with most rookie extensions, the Warriors have given Poole the huge contract based on what they think he can become, not necessarily what he’s worth right now.

If he were putting up these numbers on over $30 million per season, then you could judge him more harshly and comfortably argue he’s overpaid. But Poole has another 12 months of development before that contract kicks in, and even then, it’ll be difficult to fully assess until the second, third and fourth years of the deal.

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Sure, it’d be great if Poole were performing like a $30 million player right now, but it’s unreasonable to base that expectation on his future earnings. Furthermore, given the host of issues currently facing the Warriors, Poole’s form is the absolute least of their growing concerns.