Former Golden State Warriors' guard benched after earning unwanted label

Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards
Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

It's fair to say that Jordan Poole's time with the Washington Wizards hasn't gone according to plan, with the former Golden State Warriors' guard demoted in his team's first game after the All-Star break.

After starting all 52 games before the break, Poole was moved to the bench in the Wizards' 130-110 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. The 24-year-old had become accustomed to a bench role in his time with the Warriors, but this wasn't supposed to happen on a young, rebuilding team not overly focused on winning.

Jordan Poole's move to the bench comes after the former Golden State Warriors' guard was labelled as having the worst contract in the NBA

Poole still played 30 minutes in the 20-point loss, putting up 18 points, one rebound, one assist and two steals. He shot just 4-of-17 from the floor though, and had another viral moment after inexplicably turning the ball over on an inbounds pass.

After many thought he could take the next step into an All-Star calibre player in Washington, Poole has often struggled to handle the extra defensive attention placed upon him as the first or second option.

The 2022 NBA champion has averaged 15.7 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists, all numbers that are down from his last season with the Warriors. Poole has shot less than 40% from the floor and just 30.4% from three-point range.

Golden State's decision to move on from Poole in the offseason is starting look like the right decision, with the former first-round pick still owed nearly $100 million over the next three seasons.

Joining 95.7 The Game's Willard and Dibs earlier in the week, ESPN's Bobby Marks revealed that the Poole contract is now being considered one of the worst deals around the league.

"A lot of teams are calling the Jordan Poole contract one of the worst deals in the NBA right now. [The Warriors] caught a break there."

Bobby Marks via 95.7 The Game

The Warriors gave Poole a four-year, $128 million rookie extension in the 2022 offseason, but dealt him to the Wizards before the contract even begun. The trade has provided greater future flexibility, having received Chris Paul in return who has a non-guaranteed $30 million deal for next season.