Jordan Poole

Pacific Notes: Fox, Huerter, Warren, Poole, Warriors

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox exited Friday’s win over Phoenix in the third quarter and didn’t return, even though he wanted to keep playing, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. It’s unclear whether Fox, who was dealing with right hamstring soreness, will be forced to miss any additional contests, including Saturday’s against Utah.

“Until I get a quote-unquote official report, there’s always concern in situations like that,” head coach Mike Brown said after the game. “But we’ll wait and see what they say and then kind of go from there.”

While they lost Fox halfway through the game, the Kings got a boost on Friday when Kevin Huerter made his return following a three-game absence due to a leg injury. Huerter didn’t miss a beat upon rejoining the starting lineup, racking up 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting and chipping in nine rebounds and five assists in one of his best performances of the season.

“It’s great to get Kevin back on the floor,” Brown said. “His ability to create separation without the basketball is really — it’s up there with the elite guys in the league. I’ve been around some pretty good ones. He’s up there with that. Any time you have a player who is capable of that, who shoots it the way he does and draws as much attention as he does, it’s huge.”

Whether or not Fox is available on Saturday night, it has a chance to be a memorable evening in Sacramento. According to the NBA (Twitter link), the Kings would officially clinch their first playoff berth since 2006 if they win and both Phoenix and the Clippers lose.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Suns forward T.J. Warren said this week that he’s “slowly but surely” finding his footing in his second go-round with Phoenix, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Warren, who was something of an afterthought in the Kevin Durant blockbuster, didn’t play more than 13 minutes in any of his first 15 games as a Sun and was a frequent DNP-CD, but has scored 21 points in 48 minutes across his last two outings. “It’s tough coming to a team that’s pretty established and trying to find a good rhythm along the way, but it’s been solid,” Warren said. “Just looking to bring some value on both ends of the floor.”
  • Jordan Poole‘s production for the Warriors this season has been up and down, but Friday’s performance was a reminder of how he played in the 2022 postseason and what the team hopes to get from him this spring, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. The 23-year-old had 33 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter. More importantly, he has turned it over just once in the last two games. “Just better decision making and more mindful play,” Kerr said of Poole’s play. “Understanding that the ball is everything for us.” Poole’s four-year, $123MM rookie scale extension will go into effect in 2023/24.
  • While the defending champion Warriors aren’t concerned about their exact playoff seed, they’re certainly making it a priority to end up in the top six in the West so they don’t have to worry about competing in the play-in tournament, where one bad night could end their season, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “That is dangerous,” Draymond Green said. “We’d much rather avoid that.” Golden State currently holds the No. 6 seed, with a 1.5-game lead on the top two play-in teams.

Pacific Notes: Sabonis, Gabriel, Poole, Ayton, Shamet

It’s no coincidence that Kings players lead the league with the fewest games missed due to injury, writes Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee. Good fortune plays a role, but there’s also a team philosophy that rejects the idea of load management.

Domantas Sabonis is among the players who typify that attitude, Biderman notes. Sabonis only missed one game when he suffered an avulsion fracture to his non-shooting thumb in December and another due to illness in January. Sabonis may need surgery on his thumb, but he refuses to consider it until the season ends and has been playing with a wrap and splint on his right hand.

“We need to win games,” Sabonis said. “We need to put ourselves in the best position for playoffs. If I miss a game and we lose, I’ll never forgive myself.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Wenyen Gabriel played virtually the entire fourth quarter Friday night in the Lakers‘ loss to the Mavericks, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Gabriel was frequently used to double team Kyrie Irving and cut down on his scoring opportunities. “He has a great, great nose for the ball,” coach Darvin Ham said. “(He had) 11 rebounds. He tries to defend, tries to protect the rim. … He’s just a spark plug, another one of our spark plugs. His size, his ability to run up and down the floor, clean up loose balls, and get offensive rebounds and putbacks. Really defends well. And he showed all of that tonight. That’s why we stayed with him.”
  • Jordan Poole, whose four-year extension begins next season, has been alternating between brilliant and exasperating, observes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Monte Poole points out that coming into tonight, the Warriors guard has been a minus-50 over his last six games and he failed to deliver Friday night when four rotation players were sitting out the first game of a back-to-back.
  • The Suns won’t have center Deandre Ayton for Sunday’s game at Oklahoma City due to a right hip contusion, according to Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Ayton didn’t travel with his teammates after suffering the injury in the fourth quarter Thursday night.

Warriors Notes: D. Green, Poole, Baldwin, Lamb, Jerome

Having missed two straight games due to a right knee contusion, Warriors forward/center Draymond Green underwent an MRI to determine whether there was any damage in the knee. Fortunately, that MRI came back clean, head coach Steve Kerr said on Monday (Twitter link via Kendra Andrews of ESPN).

Green practiced on Monday and was initially listed as questionable for Golden State’s contest against Portland on Tuesday, but was later upgraded to probable, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

While it sounds like the Warriors should have Green back in action later today, forward Andrew Wiggins remains out for personal reasons — he hasn’t played since February 13.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • With Stephen Curry on the shelf, Jordan Poole has relied more heavily on isolations and is performing below his usual standards as of late, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Kerr, who was seen at Monday’s practice having a one-on-one sitdown with the fourth-year guard, told reporters that he wants Poole to focus on “trying a little less hard to make the great play.” The 23-year-old is shooting just 28.3% from the floor (21.7% on threes) since the All-Star break. “He wants so badly to help that he’s trying too hard and taking some shots that are a little difficult,” Kerr said.
  • Warriors rookie Patrick Baldwin only appeared in 16 NBA games prior to the All-Star Game, but has played at least 10 minutes in the team’s three games since the break, scoring 25 points in 39 minutes and making 7-of-13 threes during that stretch. While Baldwin’s recent success bodes well for his long-term outlook, it may also pay dividends for this season’s version of the Warriors, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, who notes that the team is always on the lookout for frontcourt players who can spread the floor while playing alongside Green or Kevon Looney.
  • Anthony Lamb and Ty Jerome are both nearing the 50-game limit for players on two-way contracts, notes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Lamb can be active for up to four more games, while Jerome has eight active games remaining. The Warriors could circumvent those restrictions and make both players postseason-eligible by promoting them to the 15-man roster, but the club currently only has one opening available on its 15-man squad and may soon have to make some difficult decisions.

Jordan Poole Talks Contract, Increased Role, Opposing Defenses, Future

Warriors guard Jordan Poole recently spoke with Mark Medina of about how he feels he has been performing since signing his four-year rookie contract extension last summer, worth up to $140MM with incentives.

“In order for (Golden State’s front office and ownership) to make a decision like that and for me to make a decision like that, they obviously thought I deserved it,” Poole said. “They like the character that I have, the way I can lead a team and everything else I bring on and off the court. With being able to be me in an organization like this, I try to bring positive energy. I’m grateful and appreciative.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s pressure. If anything, it’s more exciting to know I’m locked into the Bay for the next five (years),” Poole noted. “We can go through the highs and lows of whatever it is. I embrace that. At 23 years old, it’s a pretty cool challenge.”

Through 58 games for the 29-29 Warriors, the 6’4″ combo guard is averaging career highs of 20.9 PPG and 4.5 APG, along with 2.8 RPG and 0.8 SPG, across 30.7 MPG this season. He’s posting respectable shooting splits of .440/.335/.860 at volume.

Here are a few more interesting quotes from their conversation, which is worth checking out in full:

On his increased role on the team this season:

“It’s cool. I try to do anything I can to try to help the team win. Whenever we’re winning games, I feel like I’m playing better. I’m able to be versatile and play in different situations. I start sometimes. Or I come off the bench and play the 1 or 2. Playing with different lineups adds to my versatility. I’m a big believer in trying to find ways to get better every day, whether it’s watching film, working on something in the gym or asking questions. I always think I’ll find ways to get better, whether I’m playing good or bad.”

On dealing with more defensive attention:

“I’ve loved it, honestly. To get the second team or the (first) team’s best defender and be the main focus of the game plan and coverage is awesome. It’s stuff that you dream about as a kid. I get to ask Steph what he sees and what he went through (earlier in his career). He’s one of the greatest players of all time. He has seen as many coverages, if not more, than some of the greatest players. It’s awesome to blend his perspective into my own personal style of play. It helps me learn and find ways to grow.”

On his future beyond this year:

“I’m trying to learn as much as I can with the greatness I’m around now. With the way basketball and life goes, I may not be on the same team with these guys forever. So, I’m trying to collect as much knowledge as I can. Whether it’s playing without these guys and playing with these guys, I’m embracing everything that I do.”

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Curry, Holmes, C. Johnson

The Warriors tried out a new starting and closing lineup on Thursday in a Finals rematch again Boston, subbing in Jordan Poole for Kevon Looney. The five-man unit of Poole, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins was less stout defensively, but was more dynamic on offense — it’s a look head coach Steve Kerr suggested he plans to stick with for now, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

“Just wanted to open up the floor,” Kerr said. “Give us a little different look. Maybe get a spark. We’re past the halfway point and we’re .500. Like, let’s try something different. … It’s a lineup we know can be explosive. Against Boston, in particular, you have to open up the floor. I think I’ll keep doing it.”

Following Thursday’s loss, the defending champions are now 22-23, a game below .500. It makes sense that Kerr would be looking to generate a spark with a lineup shake-up, and his players are on board with giving the new starting group a shot.

“There’s strength and weaknesses to it,” Curry said after Thursday’s game. “But we got great shots with it tonight. Came out with a lot of juice. We gotta be better at rebounding. If we give up size, we gotta be more physical, prepared to rebound. But it gives us great space and gets us great shots, and you gotta like the way we can play fast and put pressure on defenses.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • In a Substack conversation with Marc Stein, Curry expressed interest in joining Kerr and Team USA in Paris for the 2024 Olympics and discussed how much longer he might want to play in the NBA. As the Warriors star explained, his hope when he entered the league was to match the 16 seasons his father Dell Curry played, but once he gets beyond that figure, he has no specific target in mind. “I don’t have any (longevity) goals other than maintaining the feeling that I have right now in my body and the night-in, night-out expectation of how I play and having that energy and joy and being able to recover from game to game,” Stephen Curry said.
  • With Domantas Sabonis out on Wednesday due to a non-COVID illness, Kings center Richaun Holmes got his first start since last February and played a season-high 31 minutes, registering 16 points (on 7-of-7 shooting) and 11 rebounds. As Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee outlines, it was a major achievement for a player who has gone through both professional and personal hardships in the last year. “It’s a testament to his character, his professionalism and his ability to play the game at a high level,” head coach Mike Brown said of Holmes. Sabonis is listed as questionable to play on Friday vs. Oklahoma City.
  • Cameron Johnson‘s return to action on Thursday – which saw him score 19 points in 22 minutes – provided a huge lift for a Suns team that has been mired in a lengthy slump, perhaps giving them a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, writes Doug Haller of The Arizona Republic. Head coach Monty Williams said Johnson “brought a level of juice to the arena that we haven’t felt in a while,” while Deandre Ayton said his teammate “definitely gave us a breath of fresh air.”

Warriors Notes: Green, Poole, Iguodala, Attendance Record

While Draymond Green would prefer to finish his career with the Warriors, he tells Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report “the writing’s on the wall” when it comes to his NBA future (video link).

Green can become a free agent this summer by declining his $27.6MM player option for the 2023/24 season. If he chooses to pick up the option, his expiring contract becomes a valuable trade asset for Golden State, which is already setting records with its luxury tax bill.

Green tells Rooks that he’s aware of all those factors and is at peace with however they play out, even if it means leaving the Warriors after 11 years.

“I understand the business,” he said. “We tend to get into the mindset that someone owes us something because of what we’ve accomplished. … I understand the luxury tax. I understand you got these young guys and contracts up and they have to get paid.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • In the same interview, Green addresses a preseason skirmish with Jordan Poole that resulted in him being fined by the team (video link). Green calls their relationship since the incident “a constant work in progress” and said he continues to try to smooth things over because it’s important to the organization. “I’ll always be willing to continue to do that work because I was wrong,” he said.
  • Since making his season debut last week, Andre Iguodala has been in an unusual role as the team’s first big man off the bench, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Coach Steve Kerr has been using him to replace Kevon Looney early in games, playing at power forward alongside Green. Iguodala, 39, is still adjusting to his new position after spending his entire career on the perimeter. He hopes to be part of the team’s rotation for the rest of the season. “As long as the body is good, I want to play,” he said. “Then before the playoffs, I’d like to get a good run of 10, 15 games straight no issues. So, yeah, that’s pretty much the plan. I want to get comfortable shooting when I’m tired. Once I get that, I’m fine.”
  • Warriors officials were honored to be part of San Antonio’s record-setting crowd of 68,323 in Friday’s game at the Alamodome, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. When the Spurs told the league about their plan to play in their former home, they picked a game against Golden State to help drive ticket sales. “We love being part of this stuff,” Warriors president Brandon Schneider said. “It says a lot about us that they wanted us to be the opponent.”

Warriors Notes: Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Iguodala, Buyout Market

Stephen Curry‘s return could be imminent. Curry participated in Monday’s practice and scrimmages, according to ESPN’s Kendra Andrews, and he’s listed as questionable to play against Phoenix on Tuesday. Curry hasn’t played since Dec. 14 due to a shoulder injury.

Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were also full participants while Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman and JaMychal Green sat out.

Kevon Looney, Draymond Green, Donte DiVincenzo and Jordan Poole did not participate in the scrimmages because they’ve played heavy minutes in recent games (Twitter links here).

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Wiggins missed 15 games due to an adductor strain and illness. In his return against Orlando on Saturday, he scored 12 points in 19 minutes but shot just 4-for-12 from the field. He told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater that he’ll need some time to regain his best form. “It just felt a little rusty out there just trying to get my feet right, get back in rhythm,” Wiggins said. “But I know it’s going to take a little time.”
  • Andre Iguodala made his season debut in the same game and also needs to scrape off some rust. He wasn’t much of a factor in 12 minutes. However, Iguodala isn’t a crucial rotation piece like Wiggins, Slater notes in the same piece.
  • The trade deadline is a month away, followed by the buyout market. The Warriors, who have an open roster spot, need to add another piece, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic opines. What do they need the most? In Thompson’s estimation, an athletic big would be ideal. They could also pursue a wing capable of stressing defenses off the dribble.

Warriors Notes: DiVincenzo, Poole, Payton, Jerome, Wiggins

In Friday’s win over Portland, Donte DiVincenzo had his most impactful performance since signing with the Warriors during the offseason, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. With 45 seconds left and Golden State leading by two points, DiVincenzo stole the ball from Damian Lillard and followed that with a three-pointer to put the game out of reach.

DiVincenzo got off to an uneven start with his new team, but he has moved into the starting lineup in the wake of injuries to Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins. He has helped to stabilize the team’s perimeter defense and recorded four steals on Friday night.

“He’s a winner,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I mean, two-time NCAA champion. NBA champion with the Bucks. Competes every second of every play. Great rebounds. Just constantly moving toward the ball. Plays with so much energy and activity, and then he’s fearless. He knocks down that big 3. He was 0-for-3 from 3 going into that shot, and it didn’t phase him at all.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Jordan Poole had a game-high 41 points Friday as he continues to fill the scoring void left by Curry’s absence, Slater adds. Poole has produced hefty point totals in the team’s last five wins, and Slater believes his ability to fill in for Curry influenced Warriors management to give him a contract extension.
  • Gary Payton II still hasn’t played this season, but the Trail Blazers guard picked up his championship ring during Friday’s visit to Golden State, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Draymond Green was excited to make the official presentation to his former teammate. “To understand GP’s journey, to see him go and get his money, but most importantly to see what he was able to contribute to a championship — I’m extremely excited and honored to be the person that’s presenting him something that will matter and that nobody can take for the rest of your life,” Green said.
  • Ty Jerome was flattered to be called “a poor man’s Steve Nash” during an interview on Warriors Postgame Live (video link). Jerome signed with Golden State after being waived by the Rockets in October, and he says the team’s style of play is a perfect fit for his skills.
  • Wiggins was able to take part in a 3-on-3 session Friday morning and Kerr is “hopeful” that he’ll be able to play Monday, Johnson tweets.

Warriors Notes: Lamb, Wiseman, Curry, Poole

Warriors two-way wing Anthony Lamb was named in a civil lawsuit filed this week against the University of Vermont, according to reports from The Athletic and ESPN’s Kendra Andrews.

Lamb isn’t named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which accuses the school of mishandling reports of sexual harassment and violence on campus. However, the suit does revisit a sexual assault allegation against Lamb related to a 2019 incident. The Warriors addressed that allegation when they signed Lamb in the fall and did so again on Thursday.

“Anthony is not a defendant in this recent lawsuit and, to our knowledge, he has never been charged with any wrongdoing in any legal case,” the team said in a statement. “Prior to signing Anthony in September, we did our due diligence with the NBA and his prior teams, as we do with all players. If any new information comes to light, we will certainly evaluate it and act accordingly.”

Lamb, who never faced any criminal charges as a result of the accusation, referred to the allegations as “patently false” and said he would welcome any investigation into the matter. His accuser stated in the lawsuit that she was dissuaded from seeking a formal investigation by Vermont’s athletic department.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Third-year center James Wiseman was reassigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors following a brief return to the NBA, tweets Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole adds in a follow-up tweet that Wiseman figures to continue spending time in the G League until there’s a “broad belief” he’s ready to contribute at the NBA level.
  • Asked at the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year awards how much longer he expects to play in the NBA, Stephen Curry suggested that retirement isn’t something he’s thinking about yet. “I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon,” he said (Twitter video link via Charlie Walter of KPIX 5).
  • In an in-depth feature, Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports looks at how Jordan Poole, who signed a four-year extension in October, is preparing to help bridge the Warriors’ present to their future as the team’s stars exit their primes. “Steph’s doing a really good job of mentoring him,” Kerr said. “… There’s a lot of growth ahead for Jordan, which is exciting because he’s already very good.”

Injury Updates: Harden, Wiggins, Poole, Grizzlies, Jazz

James Harden is on track to return tonight for the Sixers as they face the Rockets in Houston, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The star guard has been sidelined for a month with a right foot strain, missing 14 games in the process.

As much as I love basketball, I want to be out there to compete, especially for my teammates,” Harden said. “So this month has been patience, putting the work in, making sure I’m ready to come back and help this team get to where we can get to.”

Head coach Doc Rivers indicated on Sunday that Harden would be on a minutes restriction.

Hopeful, he’ll be ready for [Monday],” Rivers said. “And if he is, he’ll be in a limited role. But it’s still better to have him than not, if we can have him.”

After winning four of five, the Sixers have dropped two straight games and currently hold a 12-11 record.

Here are some more injury-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins will miss Monday’s contest against the Pacers with right adductor tightness, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State guard Jordan Poole is questionable with an ankle injury, which he suffered on Saturday.
  • Grizzlies star Ja Morant is doubtful for tonight’s game vs. Miami due to left ankle soreness, Memphis announced (via Twitter). In addition to Morant, injury-replacement starter John Konchar (right toe soreness) and rookie forward Jake LaRavia (left foot soreness) are also doubtful, while All-Defensive big man Jaren Jackson Jr. has been ruled out on the second of a back-to-back for injury management (he had offseason foot surgery and just returned a few weeks ago). On a positive note, second-year wing Ziaire Williams, who has yet to play this season due to right patellar tendinitis, is listed as doubtful instead of out for the first time and was sent to the G League to practice ahead of Monday’s game (Twitter link). Head coach Taylor Jenkins recently said Williams was nearing a return.
  • Jazz veterans Mike Conley (knee) and Rudy Gay (hand) were full participants in Monday’s practice and both hope to play on Wednesday against Golden State, though they’re still experiencing some pain (All Twitter links via Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune). If Conley returns Wednesday, he’ll likely be on a minutes restriction, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. The Jazz have missed Conley’s steadying influence, going just 2-6 over the past two weeks without their starting point guard.