Heading into next year, the Golden State Warriors are in a perfect position to compete for an NBA Championship once again. They’re fresh off of their fourth title in eight years and still have a roster fully capable of winning another one.
However, while their roster looks great right now, they will have some very difficult decisions to make in the near future. Over the course of the next two offseasons, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Jordan Poole will all need contract extensions.
In the case of Wiggins and Green, Golden State has the rest of this season to work things out. With Thompson, they have two years. Poole, on the other hand, will need an extension by October 17 of this year, or else he will enter restricted free agency next summer.
“All three can hit free agency after this coming season; if there’s no extension, Wiggins would become an unrestricted free agent in July, Poole would be a restricted free agent and Draymond has a player option for 2023-24 that he could decline, which would allow him to hit unrestricted free agency himself next July. Poole is the only one with a pressing deadline; due to rookie-extension rules, if there’s no extension signed by Oct. 17, he will get to restricted free agency in July,” wrote Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.
At just 23 years old, Poole has lots of room for improvement still, so it’s likely that the Warriors would want to keep him around. However, if their forced to decide between him, Wiggins, Green, and Thompson, he might be the odd man out, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Poole Could Be ‘Odd Man Out’
In an article written earlier this offseason, Letourneau detailed Golden State’s upcoming financial decisions. He believes that, of the four players in need of extensions, Poole is most likely to be the odd one out.
“Before making such an important decision, the Warriors would be wise to see how both players progress over the next 12 months,” wrote Letourneau. “But right now, given all the information available, Poole seems to have the higher chance of being the odd man out. The reason is simple: Two-way wings like Wiggins are harder to find than score-first shooting guards like Poole.”
Plus, sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy.com think that Poole might even leave on his own accord.
Poole Could Choose to Leave Warriors
A Western Conference executive who spoke with Deveney said that, out of Wiggins and Poole, the latter is most likely to leave Golden State.
“Poole, though, could have some [Harrison] Barnes in him,” the executive explained. “He got to show what he can do a bit when everyone was hurt and the team was bad, but he got pushed back within the team once Klay was healthy and everyone was talking about Wiggins and all. It depends on how they handle this contract. But if he gets the sense they do not want him, yeah, he is the one I could imagine looking elsewhere, like Barnes did. Of course, they replaced Barnes with Durant. Maybe they’ll do the same with Poole.”
If the Warriors don’t get a deal done with Poole by October 17, his situation will definitely be one to keep an eye on.