Could Jordan Poole mistake threaten contract extension for Warriors' forward?

Charlotte Hornets v Golden State Warriors
Charlotte Hornets v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Trying to balance the league's highest payroll and the new second-apron tax penalties, the Golden State Warriors will have a plethora of decisions to make in what is set to be a pivotal offseason.

The Warriors will have to resolve the contractual situations of veterans Klay Thompson, Chris Paul and potentially Kevon Looney, while they'll also have the ability to hand out extensions to 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.

Could the Golden State Warriors recent mistake with Jordan Poole cause them to hesitate on an extension for Jonathan Kuminga?

Jordan Poole was the last Golden State player to earn a contract after his third season, having signed a four-year, $128 million after the franchise won the championship in 2022. While that appeared like the going rate for an explosive young guard at the time, Poole's new deal quickly developed into a giant overpay.

After averaging a career-high 20.4 points per game game, Poole's often frustrating and inconsistent play took a further nosedive last postseason where he became near unplayable in the second-round against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Even before he'd played a minute on his new deal, the Warriors moved Poole to the Washington Wizards where the 24-year-old has largely struggled to the point of being characterized as one of the worst contracts in the league.

Luka Doncic, Jonathan Kuminga, Jordan Poole
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

With Kuminga in line for a hefty extension following his breakout season, could Golden State be cautious in handing out another big deal after the Poole experience? That's the suggestion of Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus in a recent article predicting the outcome for extension-eligible players from the 2021 draft class.

"If the price is too high to extend Kuminga, the Warriors might let him become a restricted free agent. They'll likely want to avoid the mistake they made with Jordan Poole, but there's potential for a Kuminga extension."

Eric Pincus

There's some similarities between Kuminga and Poole. Like the latter, any deal for Kuminga would be partly based on talent rather than a proven commodity. If anything there was less risk with Poole given he'd just shown himself to be a key player in a championship-winning team, while Kuminga is yet to hold any meaningful playoff experience to this point.

However, you could argue the 21-year-old has an elite level of athleticism that places his potential as far greater than Poole's ever was/is. It also means he can become a full two-way force in time, rather than be the sort of defensive liability that Poole has been for much of his career to date.

Pincus believes Kuminga's extension could closely align with what the Atlanta Hawks give Jalen Johnson, with any deal for each player likely to start at a minimum of $20 million per season. Kuminga has averaged 16.3 points on 52.9% shooting from the floor this season, along with adding 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 26.3 minutes per game.