Jordan Poole

Warriors Notes: Poole, Wiggins, Klay, Lesser-Paid Players

At 29-7, the Warriors have the best record in the NBA, a half-game ahead of the Suns. One key to the team’s success this season has been the maturation and development of third-year guard Jordan Poole, who’s being groomed to become Golden State’s new sixth man, as Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic detail.

Poole’s situation on the club is unique, in that he’s the only young player to have a consistent rotational role. He describes the dynamic as being akin to a middle-child.

The dynamic is what you see,” Poole said. “I’m not the youngest. I’ve been around for a little bit, but I’m kind of like the only one in the middle of the pack. The older bros have been through it. Sometimes we’re gonna throw you with the young guys, sometimes you can come with us. Essentially, it’s the middle-child treatment.”

Slater and Thompson write that Poole is known for having an excellent work ethic; the Warriors have data showing he’s in the gym more than any player on the team. Veteran Andre Iguodala, the team’s former sixth man, has taken Poole under his wing. As a third-year former first-round pick (28th overall in the 2019 draft), Poole is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer.

The new sixth man is getting $20 million a year,” Iguodala said. “That’s the bottom offer for a guy like that, the Tyler Herros and Jordan Pooles. You got those few guys who are starters but for teams they are on, they’re sixth men. You don’t have a problem with going above and beyond taking care of them because you know they’ll be a staple player for your franchise.”

In 30 games (28 starts) this season, Poole is averaging 18.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists in 30.1 minutes per contest. He also sports a .454/.348/.887 shooting line, good for a 59.3 true shooting percentage.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

Warriors’ Poole, Moody Exit Protocols; Wiseman Enters

The Warriors received mixed news Wednesday evening. The good: guards Jordan Poole and Moses Moody have exited the league’s health and safety protocols, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). The bad news is second-year center James Wiseman, who has been rehabbing from a torn meniscus and has yet to play this season, has entered the protocols, Slater tweets.

Poole was in the midst of a breakout third season prior to being sidelined, averaging a career-best 17.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 3.4 APG in 28 games (30.7 MPG). The 28th overall pick of the 2019 draft, Poole is eligible for a rookie scale extension in the summer of 2022. Rookie Moody has seen action in 22 contests with a modest average of 6.5 MPG.

Wiseman, the second overall pick of the 2020 draft, appeared in 39 games as a rookie last season (21.4 MPG), averaging 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG. The 20-year-old seven-footer has been practicing recently as he nears a return, but that will be delayed a bit longer after being sidelined by the COVID-19 protocols. The Warriors are reportedly very high on Wiseman’s upside and are committed to keeping him on the team.

Wiseman will be away from the team facility for at least six days or until he returns two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

The Warriors have the best record in the league at 27-7. Their next game is at Denver on Thursday.

COVID Updates: Wiggins, Poole, Len, Payton, Rogers, Tolliver, Wright

Here are the latest developments regarding players entering or exiting the league’s health and safety protocols:

  • Andrew Wiggins has cleared the protocols, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. The Warriors forward practiced on Monday and is probable to play on Tuesday against Denver, Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. Wiggins entered protocols on December 19.
  • Guard Jordan Poole has also cleared the protocols, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. He’ll return to the Warriors’ facility on Tuesday but won’t play as the team needs to assess his conditioning, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.
  • Kings center Alex Len is listed as questionable to play on Tuesday, which indicates he’s cleared the protocols, James Ham of The Kings Beat tweets.
  • Suns guard Elfrid Payton returned to action on Monday after clearing the protocols, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Payton had just entered the protocols on Sunday, so apparently he had a false positive.
  • We noted earlier on Monday that Blazers coach Chauncey Billups has entered the protocols. Assistant coach Roy Rogers is also in the protocols, Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian tweets.
  • Anthony Tolliver‘s 10-day contract with the Pelicans has been voided after he tested positive for COVID-19, Will Guillory of The Athletic tweets. Tolliver was signed on Sunday.
  • Moses Wright, who has been playing on a 10-day contract with the Clippers, has also entered the protocols, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN tweets.

Warriors’ Poole, Two Celtics Enter Health And Safety Protocols

Warriors guard Jordan Poole is among the latest players to enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Jared Weiss of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that Celtics forward Grant Williams and one other Boston player have also been placed in the protocols. Shams Charania of The Athletic says (via Twitter) the second Celtic is Al Horford.

If Poole, Williams, and Horford have tested positive for COVID-19, they’ll be sidelined for at least 10 days or until they return two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

The Warriors hadn’t had any players in the health and safety protocols prior to today’s update on Poole, but they faced the Knicks on Tuesday. New York has been experiencing a minor COVID-19 outbreak and placed Kevin Knox in the protocols on Thursday after he logged 20 minutes vs. Golden State.

The Celtics, meanwhile, put Jabari Parker in the protocols on Thursday, so they now have three players affected.

The Warriors and Celtics are scheduled to play on Friday night in Boston, so they’ll likely test and retest all their players today to make sure there are no more positives before they tip off.

Warriors Notes: Payton, Wiseman, Looney, Poole

Gary Payton II had plenty of defensive role models growing up, starting with his Hall of Fame father, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. That helped him develop a mindset that he has carried with him to all his NBA stops, including the Warriors, where he has carved out a role as a disruptive presence off the bench.

Playing on a partially guaranteed contract, Payton has been an important contributor to Golden State’s 15-2 start. He brings a brashness to his defensive approach, along with a willingness to take on the opponent’s best scorer, priding himself in playing the old-school defense he watched as a child.

“The league already made it where guys don’t like to be touched,” he said. “So I’m just gon’ touch ’em. It’s that simple. As you can see … a lot of guys don’t like to be touched. Nobody touches them. Nobody’s in their face. They let them do what they want to do. I’m not about to let you sit here and size me up. No. I’m not about to let you do that. You gon’ go one way. If not, you gon’ get up off that ball. And it’s gon’ be hard for you to get it back. By the time you get it back, you gon’ be tired and you gon’ settle. Let’s go.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Whenever James Wiseman returns from meniscus surgery, Golden State will have one of the best center rotations in the league, contends Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. The position is currently being held down by Kevon Looney, Draymond Green and Nemanja Bjelica, and the addition of Wiseman will give the group a little of everything. “He brings a whole different look to our team from a size standpoint and from a vertical standpoint,” Looney said of Wiseman. “He’s able to score at a high level down in the post. He’s a natural scorer. So, he’ll give a different look with his athleticism, being able to block shots and play above the rim. I’m excited to see him get out there. We play two different styles.”
  • It’s easy for Looney to get overlooked with all the talent the Warriors have, but he has figured out how to complement his more famous teammates, observes Nekias Duncan of Basketball News.
  • Klay Thompson has been impressed with the progress of third-year guard Jordan Poole, who is currently filling his spot in the starting lineup, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “He’s playing way above where he was picked at 26,” Thompson said. “He’s looking like he should have been a lotto pick.”

Pacific Notes: Walton, Poole, Iguodala, Ayton

“Fire Luke Walton” chants have become a regular occurrence at Kings‘ home games as fans continue to turn on the embattled head coach, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento has suffered three straight double-digit losses since a report surfaced earlier this week that Walton’s job could be “in peril” if the team doesn’t become more competitive.

General manager Monte McNair has been very open about his desire to reach the playoffs this season, but with a 6-11 start the Kings don’t look like much of a postseason threat. However, Walton’s players are remaining loyal to him as speculation grows about a potential coaching change.

“I got his back,” Tyrese Haliburton said. “I’m pretty sure we all do. I don’t have to say I’m pretty sure. I know we all do. He’s put a lot of time and a lot of trust into us as players, and when you get that from a coach who invests in his guys, it’s hard not to like him.”

Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee contends that getting rid of Walton won’t solve the Kings’ larger problem, which is a poorly constructed roster. He also questions why McNair didn’t make a coaching move when he became GM last year or before the start of the season if he doesn’t have faith in Walton.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jordan Poole has become a dangerous scorer for the Warriors, especially on the nights that Stephen Curry doesn’t play, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Poole has expanded his offensive capabilities in his third NBA season, and coach Steve Kerr recognizes the difference in his game. “He’s physically stronger,” Kerr said. “He’s able to absorb contact. He’s just got more confidence. You think about his first year, if he had a clear lane to the rim, he could dunk the ball, but it now looks like he’s getting up 6 inches higher. Athletically, he’s much improved from two years ago. That extra power and bounce is really paying off.”
  • Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala will miss his third straight game today because of a swollen right knee and the team isn’t sure how long he might be sidelined, Slater adds. “He said (the swelling) is better today,” Kerr said Friday. “But just given where he is in his career, age-wise, it’ll be a day-to-day thing.”
  • The Suns played well with JaVale McGee and Frank Kaminsky at center while Deandre Ayton was sidelined with a knee injury, and Zach Lowe of ESPN wonders how that will affect Ayton’s leverage in contract talks next summer.

Pacific Notes: Poole, Moody, Lakers, Crowder

The Warriors are being supportive of Jordan Poole, who has been erratic in his first experience as a full-time starter, writes Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole has turned in a mix of good and bad games, and although he’s averaging 14.0 PPG, turnovers have been an issue and he’s shooting just 40.8% from the field and 22.6% from 3-point range.

In a radio appearance Friday, coach Steve Kerr said ups and downs are normal for a third-year player, adding that he “couldn’t be happier” with how Poole is handling his new role. Backcourt partner Stephen Curry echoed those sentiments and said they talk frequently about what it takes to be a consistent NBA player.

“He wants it really bad. He wants to be great in this league. You can see it,” Curry said. “But it takes time, and for him, it’s understanding that you don’t have to press every night, especially when you’re on other teams’ scouting reports and they are going to try to take you away from your patterns and sweet spots.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Moses Moody was recalled to the Warriors today after a one-game stint in the G League, notes Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle. NBA playing opportunities have been scarce so far for the rookie guard, but team officials like what they’ve seen. “He’s mature beyond his years, both as a human being and as a player,” Kerr said. “It’s mostly just getting in reps since he hasn’t been able to play much for us.”
  • Frustrated with their early-season defensive effort, Lakers players took steps to fix it Friday night, according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times“I come in to talk to the guys at halftime and they’re already watching film, talking to each other,” coach Frank Vogel said after Friday’s win over Cleveland. “(Rajon) Rondo was in there, LeBron (James), (Russell Westbrook), (Anthony Davis). They’re all talking and figuring things. We’re looking at our clips that we pull as well. So, they were just motivated. It’s not happening on the defensive side the way we want, but we’re working towards it.”
  • Jae Crowder is serving as a mentor to Suns‘ second-year power forward Jalen Smith, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Smith hasn’t seen much playing time since being taken with the 10th pick in last year’s draft, so Crowder has become his personal instructor. “He does a great job of just telling me what he sees and what he feels,” Crowder said. “What he wants to add to his game and how he wants to try to get on the court. I’m just trying to help. Be a big brother. Be a good teammate. Help my brother out.

Warriors Pick Up 2022/23 Options On Poole, Wiseman

The Warriors announced today in a press release that they’ve picked up a pair of team options on rookie scale contracts, exercising Jordan Poole‘s fourth-year option and James Wiseman‘s third-year option.

Poole and Wiseman are, of course, already under contract for the current season, but today’s moves ensure their salaries for 2022/23 are guaranteed as well. Poole will make $3,901,399 next season, while Wiseman earns $9,603,360.

Poole has struggled so far this season, making just 40.8% of his shots from the field, including 22.6% of his threes, but he looked excellent in the preseason and is being counted on to play a key role for Golden State this season, especially until Klay Thompson is healthy. He’ll be extension-eligible in 2022 and would hit restricted free agency in 2023 if he doesn’t sign a new deal next year.

Wiseman, 2020’s second overall pick, is recovering from a knee injury and has yet to play this season. The Warriors are expected to be very patient with his recovery, since he’s not expected to play big minutes even when he’s healthy and ready to return to action.

All decisions on rookie scale options for 2022/23 are due by Monday. We’re tracking them right here.

Pacific Notes: Kuminga, Poole, Staples Center, Suns’ Cap

Warriors lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga has a strained patella tendon in his right knee, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Kuminga will be reevaluated in a week, so it’s likely he’ll miss some early-season games. It’s a setback for a rookie forward trying to find his place on a team with postseason aspirations.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • With Klay Thompson still working his way back from the Achilles injury that sidelined him last season, Jordan Poole has seized a starting spot, Slater adds in another tweet. Coach Steve Kerr indicated that Poole has a solid hold on the shooting guard spot until Thompson returns. “For now, he’ll be in that starting spot and he’s playing so well, it’s hard to envision not keeping him there,” Kerr said.
  • A Staples Center spokesperson claims that Los Angeles’ new ordinance mandating that people must be vaccinated to enter a wide range of indoor venues in the city does not apply to the arena, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets. According to the spokesperson, the Staples Center is covered by a previous county health order. Whether or not the new ordinance applies to the arena, it shouldn’t have an impact on the Lakers or Clippers at this point, since both teams are expected to be fully vaccinated when the regular season begins.
  • The Suns are in good shape regarding the luxury tax this season, but that could change next year, John Hollinger of The Athletic notes in his season preview. Phoenix is $8MM below the luxury-tax line and still has the majority of its mid-level exception and an open roster spot at its disposal. But if the team tries to retain Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton and Landry Shamet — all of whom are eligible for rookie scale extensions — it will be difficult to stay below the tax line going forward.

Warriors Notes: Poole, Wiggins, Looney, Iguodala

It was just one preseason game, but Jordan Poole‘s performance on Monday vs. Portland was an incredibly positive sign for the Warriors, writes Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole racked up 30 points – including seven 3-pointers – in just 22 minutes of action.

“This is what he’s looked like in camp,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “Not hesitating, he’s getting to the rim, playing with an unbelievable confidence … He’s earned that confidence.”

As Marcus Thompson of The Athletic writes, the Warriors explored potential trades for stars during the offseason and ultimately didn’t make a move. While Golden State isn’t expecting Poole to become an All-Star, there’s a ton of confidence within the organization that he’s poised to make a major leap and could potentially become the sort of complementary impact player the team sought on the trade market.

“He’s one of our best players,” Kerr said, per Andrews. “I think what we have to determine is how he holds up defensively with the different lineups he’s playing with. But you got a guy that explosive, you got to get him on the floor.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Although Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins ultimately agreed to be vaccinated, he made it clear this week that he did so reluctantly, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Wiggins, who said he’s the only person in his family to receive the vaccine, expressed concerns about possible long-term effects, but felt as if he had no choice but to get vaccinated. “The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” Wiggins said on Monday. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run and in 10 years I’m still healthy.”
  • John Hollinger of The Athletic isn’t expecting a big bounce-back season from the Warriors, projecting them to finish ninth in the West with a 39-43 record. Within his season preview, Hollinger also explores Golden State’s tax situation, speculating that a Kevon Looney trade could be something the team considers during the season in order to reduce its year-end bill.
  • Andre Iguodala was an important part of the Warriors’ title teams in 2015, 2017, and 2018, but he’ll turn 38 this season, so it’s unclear how much he’ll contribute to this year’s team, writes Kendra Andrews of NBC Bay Area. Even if they don’t get much out of Iguodala on the court, the Dubs will benefit from having his voice in the locker room, Andrews adds.