Warriors Rumors: Breakout Star Jordan Poole Could Land on Trade Block

Jordan Poole

Getty Jordan Poole looks to make a move against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

The biggest immediate priority for the Golden State Warriors is to work on hashing out a long-term deal for breakout star Jordan Poole.

But on a longer horizon, the Warriors could hold onto an option to trade Poole and save cap space if they can get him signed to a favorable contract, one insider speculates. The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami broke down the team’s plans for Poole, who comes with an October 17 deadline to sign a rookie extension, noting that the Warriors could try to sign him sooner rather than later and then wait to see the best long-term move.

Warriors Would Keep Options Open for Poole

As Kawakami reported, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said the team will be meeting with Poole’s representatives following the team’s trip to Japan for a preseason slate.

Kawakami predicted that Poole could get a deal for roughly $24 million per year, but giving him that extension while also keeping free agents Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins would put the Warriors well over $450 million in payroll for 2023-24. Because of the team’s repeat offender status in luxury tax, Poole’s $24 million salary would end up adding $160 million to the team’s total player costs, he added.

Signing Poole to a deal now could give the Warriors the flexibility to trade him in a cap-saving move later down the line, Kawakami suggested.

“This isn’t to suggest that the Warriors are trying to sign Poole now just to trade him in a year or two,” Kawakami wrote. “They love him. They drafted him. They stuck with him after a bad rookie season. He was great last season and helped them win a title. But if the Warriors get Poole signed on a decent deal, they could trade him in the future to alleviate the tax penalties or just for a straight basketball move (or more likely, both). Heck, this might be true even if they sign him to a so-so deal. You can always trade good players on solid deals.”

Risky Negotiations for Warriors

The contract talks would be tricky for the Warriors. A league executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that Poole could simply look elsewhere for a deal like another homegrown player who turned into a star, Harrison Barnes.

As Kawakami noted, the Warriors were working with Barnes on a rookie-extension contract in October 2015, offering a deal with an average of $16 million a year. Barnes didn’t take the offer, and later signed a max deal with the Dallas Mavericks worth $21.3 million a year. The Warriors moved on by signing Kevin Durant.

“Poole, though, could have some [Harrison] Barnes in him,” the executive told Deveney. “He got to show what he can do a bit when everyone was hurt and the team was bad, but he got pushed back within the team once Klay was healthy and everyone was talking about Wiggins and all. It depends on how they handle this contract. But if he gets the sense they do not want him, yeah, he is the one I could imagine looking elsewhere, like Barnes did. Of course, they replaced Barnes with Durant. Maybe they’ll do the same with Poole.”

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