Heading into the February 9 trade deadline, the Golden State Warriors are going to have to find ways to improve their roster, as they currently sit at 26-26 on the season. However, they also need to worry about their long-term plans, and sources who spoke with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports revealed that they might be a bit concerned about Jordan Poole.
“Poole had such a rough start, but he has gotten himself back together, but they sometimes don’t seem to know what to do with him,” a Western Conference executive told Deveney. “He is a lot better as a starter, but the defense really goes South when he is starting. They were hoping he was going to be a much better defender this season, and he just hasn’t.”
As noted, when Poole has been a part of the starting lineup, he’s put up much better stats. Head coach Steve Kerr made that change in an attempt to help Poole, but it’s at the cost of Kevon Looney’s place in the starting five, which hurts Golden State’s defense.
The Warriors inked Poole to a four-year, $140 million contract extension this past summer, investing heavily in the 23-year-old guard. However, with how poorly they’ve performed this season relative to expectations, there have to be some questions.
As far as his counting stats, however, Poole has been putting together a fairly solid season this year. He has appeared in all 52 of the Warriors’ games and is playing 30.5 minutes per contest. Poole is averaging 20.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game on 43.7% shooting from the floor and 32.4% shooting from behind the three-point line.
Warriors Facing ‘Painful Decisions’ at Trade Deadline
While trading Poole at this year’s trade deadline almost certainly isn’t in the cards for the Warriors, they are going to have to consider making other types of moves. According to David Thorpe of True Hoop, they will be forced to make some “painful decisions” ahead of the deadline.
“There’s an argument, of course, for the Warriors to exercise patience through the postseason,” Thorpe wrote. “Don’t forget that their starting five from last June—[Stephen] Curry, [Klay] Thompson, [Andrew] Wiggins, [Draymond] Green, Looney—has the second-best net rating among all starting lineups this season. Maybe the young guys can figure it out. If not, take a first-round loss on the chin, and then put everyone but Curry up for grabs this summer. They could renovate quickly by cashing in on big names, even if it cost them next-stage darlings like [Jordan] Poole, Wiggins, or Kevon Looney. Not sure how Dubs Nation would feel about that, but no matter what happens, painful decisions are coming.”
Warriors Interested in Matisse Thybulle
As far as potential targets, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Warriors are interested in potentially acquiring Philadelphia 76ers wing Matisse Thybulle.
“Multiple NBA sources said the Golden State Warriors have had internal discussions about Thybulle and that they do like him as a defensive stopper,” Pompey wrote. “The Sacramento Kings are also reportedly monitoring his availability. A league source confirmed the interest, saying Kings coach Mike Brown is a fan of Thybulle, who would add a defensive presence to Sacramento’s starting lineup. The Kings (28-21), who surprisingly sit at third place in the Western Conference, are pondering upgrades for a postseason push after an NBA-record 16 straight seasons without a playoff appearance. The Kings’ and Warriors’ interest makes sense and is something to pay attention to.”