Warriors Guard Could be ‘Odd Man Out’ Amid Contract Drama

Jordan Poole

Getty Images Jordan Poole and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors.

The Golden State Warriors have some key contract decisions to make this offseason, which could leave rising guard Jordan Poole as the odd man out.

The Warriors haven’t been scared to spend but find themselves in a precarious spot due to a massive payroll and an hefty luxury tax bill. With large contracts already on the books for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors have to deal with extensions for Poole and Andrew Wiggins very carefully.

While both Wiggins and Poole are extension eligible, each has one more year left on their current contracts. While the Warriors would be avoiding the risk of losing either by locking them up early, it’s not a necessity, especially considering their situation with the luxury tax.

As the Warriors sort things out, Poole is the player who could be left on the outside looking in, per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Before making such an important decision, the Warriors would be wise to see how both players progress over the next 12 months. 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.

Poole Coming Off Breakout Season With Warriors

Poole became a key piece for the Warriors last season and came on especially strong down the stretch. He averaged 24.7 points on 47.3% shooting, including hitting his three-pointers at a 41.9% clip over the final 21 regular season games. At times he became a defensive liability in the postseason but also provided some timely buckets in the key spots, averaging 17 points during the title run.

Poole is expected to field a deal in the $100 million range, with fair comparisons being Portland guard Anfernee Simons, who just signed for $100 million, and Jalen Brunson, who was given $104 million from the New York Knicks.

Waiting is not the worst option for the Warriors with Poole, to see how the situation develops. He’ll be a restricted free agent next offseason but the team could match any deal if he maintains his form offensively, improves on the defensive end and looks like a key piece for the future.

Poole knows he’s due for a payday but said he hadn’t thought about his future during his exit interview.

“If I’m going to be completely honest, I haven’t even been able to fathom anything about that process yet,” Poole said on June 18. “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.”

Draymond Green Wants Max Deal as Well

There’s the idea that the Warriors simply paying all their stars is the route to go. However, The Athletic reported that the Warriors do not feel like that’s a viable route, regardless of how deep their pockets are as they rack up the luxury tax.

What has complicated matters is that Green has made it clear that he wants a max-level contract. That would pay him $164.2 million over the next five seasons and he’d be 37 by the end of it.

The former Defensive Player of the Year has two years left on his contract, the second being a player option for the 2023-24 season. He’ll make more than $54 million between those two seasons but would like to be re-upped by Golden State. However, the Warriors have no intentions of offering Green the max, per The Athletic.

It’s clear some tough choices are on the way for the Warriors as they look to extend their near decade of dominance.

Read More