This offseason has been an odd one for the Golden State Warriors. Despite losing Otto Porter Jr., Gary Payton II, and Nemanja Bjelica in free agency, they were able to replace them with Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green, mitigating the damage.
However, while most would assume that the majority of headlines would be surrounding their recent championship victory, the storylines coming out of Golden State have all revolved around their future financial issues. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole will all need contract extensions soon, and it’s highly unlikely that the team can afford to pay them all.
And while planning for the future may seem like a smart idea, Stephen Curry has made it clear that he, Green, and Thompson are a package deal. In turn, they could be forced to choose between Wiggins and Poole. But according to Brady Klopfer of Golden State of Mind, that choice shouldn’t be a hard one.
“Barring something weird, the question really should come down to whether the Warriors want to keep Poole or Wiggins. Anyone who reads this blog or follows me on Twitter knows where I stand: I’d thank Wiggins for his incredible 2021-22 season, give him a gorgeous championship ring (hopefully two), give him a standing ovation every time he enters Chase Center, and send him packing eight days a week,” Klopfer wrote.
Poole may have the higher ceiling, but wings are valued highly in today’s NBA, so Wiggins may be the hotter commodity. Klopfer also noted that he thinks Golden State is leaning the other way.
Warriors Leaning Toward Wiggins?
Right now, Poole looks like a mini version of Curry, which is every Warriors fan’s dream. However, finding score-first guards in the league is much easier than finding wings who can defend at a high level and shoot the three-ball. Because of that, Klopfer believes the Warriors are more likely to choose Wiggins. At least, right now they are.
“But do the Warriors agree with me? Right now I don’t think they do. If they had to make the decision today, I’d predict that they keep Wiggins and let Poole leave in free agency. But they’re not having to make this decision today, thankfully, and perhaps the most fascinating storyline of the season for the Dubs — other than the whole Can they win another championship? thing — is if either player can emerge as the clear choice,” said Klopfer.
Klopfer also noted the impending decision date for the Warriors to ink Poole to an extension.
Poole’s Extension Date Coming Soon
While Poole is under contract through the end of the season, Golden State will have a chance to extend him before the season begins. However, that may not be in Poole’s best interest.
“As for Poole’s rookie extension, the deadline is October 18 — the same day that the Warriors kick off the season by raising a banner in front of the Lakers. There’s a lot of incentive for the Warriors to get a deal done by then, so that if they do pick Wiggins over Poole, they can trade JP rather than let him walk for nothing. But there may be less incentive for Poole, who could play himself into an even bigger contract with another step forward, and potentially get to pick his destination in free agency,” Klopfer explained.
It will be interesting to see which decisions Golden State makes, because as things stand, the choice is anything but easy.