The Golden State Warriors face an interesting decision this offseason with rising star guard Jordan Poole and some believe the defending champs should pump the brakes on a big-money extension.
Poole’s rookie-scale max extension would be worth around $190 million over five years — a nice raise for the former 28th overall pick, who is due around $4 million for next season. If the sides don’t come to an agreement, Poole would hit restricted free agency in 2023.
While the Warriors would run a possible risk of Poole jetting for another squad, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report believes waiting things out might not be the worst case situation for Golden State, considering Poole’s small sample size of strong play.
“Strategically, Golden State has every financial incentive to let Poole play his fourth year without a new deal framework,” Fischer wrote on July 19. “And if he repeats, or even improves upon, his sizzling production in 2022-23, the Warriors likely won’t blink an eye at rewarding Poole with a maximum deal, solidifying the franchise’s bridge into a post-Steph Curry era.
If Poole regresses—or simply entrenches himself as a strong starter-level player rather than a budding All-Star—then Golden State might be able to find an agreement closer to Anfernee Simons’ four-year, $100 million deal with Portland this summer.”
Fischer said an extension could take some time to work out. He cited the last week before next season as the sweet spot for something to go down.
Poole Provided Spark in Finals For Warriors
Fischer is not the only one who thinks patience with a Poole extension is key. He also cited an anonymous team cap strategist who thinks waiting it out is the way to go.
“What’s the upside in locking him in now?'” the cap strategist told Bleacher Report. ‘”He’s not Luka Doncic or Donovan Mitchell, who’ve proven they can carry a team. He’s close. If he does it again, you pay him. But prior to this year he was a borderline rotation player.'”
Poole averaged 18.5 points on 44.8% shooting last season, chipping in 3.4 rebounds and 4 assists. While he had some tough stretches in the postseason, he ended up being a key part of the run in the NBA Finals against the Celtics, averaging 13.2 points on 43.5% shooting. He also hit his 3-pointers at a 38.5% clip, many of those shots from beyond the arc coming at key points.
Poole was asked about his future shortly after the Finals and delivered an honest assessment of the situation.
“If I’m going to be completely honest, I haven’t even been able to fathom anything about that process yet,” Poole said. “I was so locked in on the championship. Like, we know it will happen, we put ourselves in situations to be successful and everything else will take care of itself.”
That being said, Poole and Andrew Wiggins were on social media celebrating the title by saying, “We about to get a bag!” So the 23-year-old knows some big money is likely coming his way in the near future.
Warriors Also Weighing Extension for Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins could also “get the bag” this offseason with an extension, although a record luxury tax bill puts the Warriors in a tough spot. However, general manager Bob Myers made it pretty clear that the franchise is willing to spend on the right pieces — regardless of price.
“You don’t need me to tell you what our payroll is. It’s pretty high,” Myers said. “So (Lacob) just wants to win, and we’ve spent a lot, and we’ve kept all the players we want to keep, so I don’t see that changing.”
Wiggins is extension-eligible but is signed through next season. He is set to make $33.6 million. But he has surely earned a re-up with the Warriors thanks to his evolution into an all-around performer.
Wiggins averaged 17.2 points on 46.6 percent shooting and 4.5 rebounds in the regular season. More importantly, the former top pick helped turn the side in the finals with 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds in 39.3 minutes per game.