Warriors Cement Future, Pick Up Options on 2 Young Stars


Getty Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 8.

A handful of questions continue to swirl around two prominent young members of the Golden State Warriors, but whether the team intends to keep riding with its contingent of youthful talent is not one of them.

Golden State announced Friday, October 29 in an official press release that it would exercise team contract options on both shooting guard Jordan Poole and big man James Wiseman for the 2022-23 season. It will be Poole’s fourth year in the NBA, while it will represent Wiseman’s third professional season.

“Under the terms of the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement, the first two years of a first round draft pick’s contract are guaranteed, while the third and fourth year of the contract are the team’s option,” the release stated.

Poole Vital Piece For Dubs’ Future, Started Off Slower Than Hoped

Poole is filling in as the starting shooting guard for the Warriors alongside All-Star point guard Steph Curry until Klay Thompson can return, presumably around Christmas should everything proceed according to plan.

The 22-year-old offensive specialist made a jump last season, particularly down the stretch run, putting up double-digit points per night and offering a spark off the bench. After an impressive preseason, during which he was one of the leading scorers in all of the NBA, hopes were high among both team executives and fans.

Head coach Steve Kerr announced before the season began that he would stagger the rotations of Curry and Poole to make sure one of the two was on the court for every minute of regular season play — an expression of the faith the Warriors’ coaching staff has in the burgeoning star’s offensive prowess.

While Poole’s traditional counting numbers have improved since last season, he has not quite had the impact the Dubs were expecting. He has started all five contests on the way to a 4-1 start for the Warriors, averaging 14 points per game, along with 4 assists and 2.6 rebounds. He’s netting those numbers in exactly 27 minutes per outing, per Basketball Reference.

Those stats are all up from last season, when Poole averaged 12 points per game, along with 1.9 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 19.4 minutes played per evening. The University of Michigan graduate is finding his footing as a starter in the league, but will need to provide a bit more on the offensive end if the Dubs hope to maintain their winning ways in Thompson’s absence.

When Thompson does eventually return, Poole is likely to move back into a supporting role as the team’s 6th man and primary bench scorer.

Wiseman Expected to Return From Knee Injury Sometime in November

Wiseman, just 20 years old, has yet to play in a regular season game during his second season after hurting his knee last year.

According to the Warriors’ press release Friday, the sophomore center appeared in 39 games for the Dubs in the 2020-21 campaign, getting the starting nod in 27 of those contests. He put up 11.5 points and snagged 5.8 boards in a little over 21 minutes on the floor each night.

Monte Poole, of NBC Sports Bay Area, reported Thursday, October 28 that Wiseman could return to the floor as soon as two or three weeks from now, rebounding from the meniscus injury that sidelined him for much of the second half of last season.

Wiseman was heavily involved in trade speculation over the offseason, serving as a centerpiece in several theoretical deals that would have landed the Dubs a fourth superstar — from Bradley Beal, of the Washington Wizards, to Ben Simmons, of the Philadelphia 76ers. However, those moves never materialized.

Picking up the third year of Wiseman’s contract despite a rookie season injury, and without seeing even one minute of play during his second campaign, shows the faith the Dubs still have in the young big man.

Kevon Looney is currently starting at center for Golden State, with Wiseman listed as second on the depth chart. Though, once Wiseman returns and gets back to game speed, he’s likely to resume his spot in the starting lineup.

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