The Golden State Warriors got an unexpected boost in the back half of last season when Jordan Poole, who had an otherwise unremarkable season in the G-League, became a breakout star for a stretch when Steph Curry was injured.
Now, one insider is speculating that this fast rise could mark the end of Poole’s time with the Warriors as the team looks to package together draft picks and young assets to make an immediate roster upgrade. There has been rampant speculation about potential targets, including superstars like Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard, but this report suggests that Golden State could aim for something a bit more realistic — and much more attainable.
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Warriors Making Moves
San Francisco Chronicle beat reporter Connor Letourneau appeared on 95.7 The Game this week, discussing Golden State’s plans to build a contending team after two straight seasons falling short of the playoffs. He said that the team’s top priority is maximizing the rest of Curry’s prime, especially after he just turned in an MVP-caliber season. While Letourneau acknowledged the rumors that the team could target Simmons or Lillard, he noted that either deal would require the Warriors to trade Andrew Wiggins, a move the front office does not want to make.
Instead, Letourneau suggested that the Warriors could trade for a starting-caliber player rather than an All-Star. That would mean putting together the team’s two lottery picks along with a young asset, which he said could be Poole. He noted that Warriors general manager Bob Myers has been active in talks, both calling and taking calls from other teams, though it’s not clear if there is any specific trade in mind or whether Poole would be included.
Letourneau has been high on Poole in the past, including the stretch in March when he joined Golden State’s roster after a stint in the G-League and moved into the starting lineup while Curry was nursing a tailbone injury. Poole averaged 20 points a game during that stretch, showing a strong shooting touch and ability to facilitate the offense in Curry’s absence.
“In the first month-plus of the season, he still looked a bit lost at times, attempting ill-advised jumpers and needlessly dribbling,” Letourneau wrote in a mailbag for the San Francisco Chronicle’. “Even at the G League bubble, Poole struggled with turnovers and his 3-point shot. But since returning to Golden State two weeks ago, he has looked so poised and polished.”
Other Upgrades in the Works
There are others who agree that the Warriors will look to make more marginal roster upgrades rather than blockbuster moves. Brad Botkin of CBS Sports suggested that Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love could be a potential target, as he appears headed for a likely buyout and would be willing to join a contending team on a minimal salary.
Myers spoke at the conclusion of last season about the team’s desire to bring in some veteran players, an approach that could garner more success than the last year, when Klay Thompson was out for the season and the outlook wasn’t quite so bright.
“I do know we need veterans,” Myers said, via The Athletic. “We have to add some veterans in free agency. We just have to. We’re well aware of that. We’ll try to do it. We actually tried to do it last year with a few guys, so it wasn’t as if that mindset didn’t exist. It doesn’t matter, nobody cares, but we were in second place with quite a few guys that I think could have helped, but they chose to go to a team after Klay’s injury that they thought they could win it more and that’s fair to them.”