“It’s A Poole Party, It’s A Poole Party” | Draymond Green Raves About Ascension Of Golden State Warriors Guard Jordan Poole

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03: Jordan Poole #3 and Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors react after Poole made a three-point basket against the Charlotte Hornets in the first half at Chase Center on November 03, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2019. For a team with its championship core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green finally back intact after 2 1/2 seasons apart, it’s a chance to rekindle some of that magic from 2015-2019. 

During that timeframe, the Warriors played in five consecutive NBA Finals, winning three NBA titles. Getting that trio back on the floor wasn’t going be enough to carry the “Dubs” back to the NBA Finals. They needed an infusion of new, young and gifted players.

Enter the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Jordan Poole. Young guns who bring a level of athleticism the Warriors have sorely lacked for about four seasons. 

 

While Wiggins, the former No. 1 overall pick, made his first All-Star team this season, and Kuminga looks as if his ceiling is the sky, it’s the development of Jordan Poole that has shocked the hoops world. Poole executed his job efficiently in Thompson’s absence and caused fits for defenses in ways that the less mobile shooting star can’t. Thompson was able to return in January after missing nearly three seasons.

Poole then stepped over to fill the void left by Steph Curry for the last 12 games of the season, where he really blossomed. His ability to play both guard positions has been a blessing for Steve Kerr and his mixed roster of All-Stars, aging veterans and talented neophytes. 

Poole Was Warriors’ Best Player During Gentleman’s Sweep Over Nuggets

Steph Curry led Golden State in scoring four out of the five playoff games against Denver. But Poole’s contributions were just as noteworthy. During the first three games of the series win over the Nuggets, the former Michigan Wolverines star averaged 29 points, five assists, on 67 percent shooting, 60 percent from three and 82 percent from the charity stripe. Draymond Green has taken notice of his abilities.

“He’s been our No. 1 option,” Green said. “Facts… and you know I don’t like Michigan very much at all.”
“You’re talking about a guy who was on the third-team All-G League last year, has been our No. 1 option in the playoffs. The way he’s playing, he’s gained the trust of everybody on the team, he’s gained the trust of Coach Kerr, and he’s gained fear from everybody else.”

Poole’s playoff coming-out party has some enthusiastic tweeters calling him “Steph Jr.” Kerr brought Curry off the bench the first four games of the Denver series while Poole and Thompson started in the backcourt. Poole averaged 21 points, five assists and four rebounds per game on 54 percent shooting, including 43 percent from three in the series. Poole, Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green resemble the “death lineup,” made famous when Kevin Durant was in the Bay Area from 2016-2019

Poole’s Gaining Respect Across The League 

In a recent appearance on “The Colin Cowherd Podcast”, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard spoke about his interactions with Poole since the rising star entered the league in 2019.

Poole’s scoring average has increased from 8.8 ppg to 12 ppg to the 18.5 ppg clip he posted this season.

Lillard says at first Poole was just a trash-talker who mostly rode the bench and inspired Lillard to great performances like the 60-point gem he hung on Golden State. Slowly the 22-year-old’s play started putting him on Lillard’s respect radar

 “As I started to pay more attention to him,” Lillard tells Cowherd, “I started to notice, ‘Oh, he’s actually got something to him.’”

Warriors May Not Be Able To Afford Poole

Poodle’s play has put the Warriors in a precarious situation as far as their team salary cap goes. With Curry, Klay, Wiggins and Draymond all getting their yeoman’s share, extending Poole may mean that one of the vets doesn’t get paid. The obvious choice is Wiggins, who’s set to rake in over $33 million in the final year of his contract. Poole’s play would soften the blow of losing Wiggins, which is almost a certainty. Wiggins probably won’t give the team a discount.

GM Bob Myers will look to lock up Poole with a four-year, $80 million extension this summer. Poole, however, might be willing to hold off on singing it and bet on himself. If he does then the Warriors would be stuck and probably have to rely on Kuminga developing, as they won’t be able to afford Poole at more than that. 

 

No matter how it plays out, Jordan Poole has made a splash, and his impactful play is going to lead to a huge payday. Not bad for a guy who was just in the G-League.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.