Jordan Poole

Warriors Notes: No. 28 Pick, Looney, Payton, Wiseman, Iguodala, More

Speaking today to reporters, Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said that money won’t be the deciding factor as the team weighs whether to use or trade the No. 28 overall pick, as Kendra Andrews of ESPN relays (via Twitter).

“It’ll be if it makes sense,” Myers said of a possible trade.

Besides the financial aspect, the Warriors will have to consider whether there’s a player they like at No. 28 enough to add another rookie to a young core that already includes several recent lottery picks.

According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Celtics, Knicks, and Magic are among the teams that have expressed interest in the No. 28 pick.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Asked about the Warriors’ key free agents, starting with Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II, Myers said, “Our hope and our goal is to bring all of those guys back” (Twitter link via Mark Medina of NBA.com). However, he added that Golden State will be mindful of the marketplace, suggesting there may be a price point the team won’t exceed. Myers also spoke at length about the ownership’s willingness to pay an ever-growing tax bill as long as the Warriors remain a title contender (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).
  • According to Myers, the Warriors would like to extend Andrew Wiggins‘ and Jordan Poole‘s contracts this offseason, but those talks may not be on the front burner to start the summer, since the deadline for a Poole extension isn’t until October, and Wiggins could be extended during the season (Twitter link via Andrews).
  • The Warriors aren’t giving head coach Steve Kerr a mandate to play youngsters James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody a certain amount next season. “If there are guys playing better, we’ll play those guys,” Myers said (Twitter link via Medina).
  • Wiseman hasn’t experienced any recent setbacks and the plan remains for him to play in either the California Classic or Las Vegas Summer League in July, Myers said today (Twitter link via Medina). That plan was reported earlier this month.
  • Neither Myers nor Kerr is certain whether or not Andre Iguodala will retire this summer, tweets Slater. “It’s a really big decision for him,” Kerr said. “If he decides to come back, we’d be thrilled.”

Pacific Notes: Kings, Lakers, R. Wallace, Payton, Poole

The Kings are willing to listen to inquires on the No. 4 overall pick in this month’s draft and are open to making a move with it if the price is right, according to James Ham of The Kings Beat, who explores a handful of options the team will have with that lottery selection.

As Ham writes, it would be an easy decision for the Kings to keep the pick if Chet Holmgren or Jabari Smith is available, but they’ll likely be gone by No. 4, along with Paolo Banchero. Jaden Ivey is widely viewed as the fourth-best prospect in the draft, but would be a risky bet alongside De’Aaron Fox in Sacramento’s backcourt, given his defensive limitations and inconsistent three-point shot.

Still, in Ham’s view, if the Kings hang onto the pick and view Ivey as the best player available in that spot, they should be willing to roll the dice on him — if he and Fox prove to be a poor match, the Kings can cross that bridge when they come to it.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Asked today about the status of Rasheed Wallace, Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway said Wallace may be headed to the Lakers to join Darvin Ham‘s coaching staff, per Jason Munz of The Memphis Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). Wallace was an assistant with the Tigers in 2021/22.
  • Gary Payton II returned to the Warriors‘ rotation on Sunday for the first time since fracturing his left elbow in the Western Semifinals vs. Memphis and made an immediate impact, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. As Slater details, Payton – whose point-of-attack defense helped slow down Boston in Game 2 – looks capable of playing a major rotation role going forward.
  • Through the first six quarters of the NBA Finals, Warriors guard Jordan Poole struggled against a Celtics defense he describes as “extremely lengthy,” according to Slater. However, he got going in the second half of Game 2 on Sunday and finished with 17 points. Poole, who was 5-of-9 on three-pointers, will be looking this series to put the final touches on his case for a lucrative offseason extension.

Warriors Notes: Green, Poole, Iguodala, Payton

Draymond Green believes he needs to “completely raise my play a couple more notches” after a poor shooting night in the Warriors‘ Game 1 loss, writes Mark Medina of NBA.com. Green made just 2-of-12 shots, giving him four points to go with three turnovers and six fouls. He also took the blame for the Celtics’ offensive outburst in the fourth quarter as they posted 40 points while turning a 12-point deficit into a 12-point victory.

Medina notes that Green has a history of bouncing back after bad outings, especially in the playoffs. His teammates expressed total confidence that will happen in Sunday night’s Game 2.

“No other scenario where I see playing out any differently than him coming out with great energy and focus,” Stephen Curry said. “He takes all that stuff personally in terms of his standard and what he knows he can do out there on the floor. When he doesn’t meet that, he’s usually pretty honest and accountable to himself to the team.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Golden State’s veterans are rallying around Jordan Poole, who had a disappointing performance in his first NBA Finals game, Medina adds. Poole was just 2-of-7 with four turnovers, and Curry suggested that it may have had something to do with being on such a big stage for the first time. “Maybe slow down just a little bit to see the pictures a little bit better,” he advised. “But he doesn’t have to change anything about the way he plays, the way he attacks or where he feels the most confident in terms of making an impact on the game. You just have to be able to bottle up those emotions.”
  • Andre Iguodala has been a steadying influence on Poole throughout his breakout season, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Iguodala, who rejoined the Warriors prior to the start of the season, can offer Poole the experience of an 18-year NBA career and seven trips to the Finals.
  • Gary Payton II told reporters after today’s practice that he’s not feeling any more pain in the left elbow that was fractured during the second-round series with Memphis, Johnson writes in a separate story. Payton sat out the series opener, but said he’ll be ready if coach Steve Kerr decides to use him in Game 2. “I’m available, ready to go, just waiting on the call,” Payton said.

Myers: Rising Payroll Won’t Keep Warriors From Retaining Poole

With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins set to earn a combined $148MM in 2022/23, the Warriors will once again blow by the luxury tax line (projected to be at $149MM) next season and will likely have the NBA’s most expensive roster. However, the rising cost of Golden State’s payroll won’t prevent the team from retaining breakout guard Jordan Poole, president of basketball operations Bob Myers told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

“No, no,” Myers said. “I mean, thankfully (I) work for an ownership group in Joe (Lacob) that has committed all kinds of resources to winning. And I know that because every time I asked him about roster and strategy, it’s always winning.”

The Warriors’ team salary in 2021/22 was approximately $176MM, while their accompanying tax bill is worth $170MM+, meaning the team is spending about $346MM on this year’s roster. Golden State will remain subject to the NBA’s more punitive “repeater” taxpayer penalties as long as its team salary remains above the tax threshold.

[RELATED: Hoops Rumors Glossary: Luxury Tax Penalties]

“You don’t need me to tell you what our payroll is. It’s pretty high,” Myers told Goodwill. “So he just wants to win. And we’ve spent a lot and we’ve kept all the players we want to keep, so I don’t see that changing.”

As expensive as the Warriors’ roster is, the organization makes a significant amount of revenue as a result of deep playoff runs like this year’s, as Tim Kawakami of The Athletic has outlined. Retaining key rotation players like Poole will help give Golden State the opportunity to make more of those runs and maximize the earning potential of the Chase Center.

Poole is under contract for one more season, but will be eligible for a contract extension this summer and appears to have made a strong case for a deal worth at least $20-25MM per year. The 22-year-old averaged 18.5 PPG and 4.0 APG in 76 regular season games (30.0 MPG) in 2021/22, and is at 18.4 PPG and 4.5 APG in 16 playoff contests (30.1 MPG).

If Poole signs an offseason extension, it would go into effect in 2023/24, at which point Andrew Wiggins‘ maximum-salary contract would be off the books, which could help lessen the Warriors’ financial burden. Of course, as good as Wiggins has been this year, the team may want to lock him up beyond his current deal too. Based on Myers’ comments, it doesn’t sound like Lacob would say no if the front office believes it’s the right move.

Warriors’ Bob Myers Talks Poole, Centers, Iguodala

Given the extent to which the Warriors‘ stars have been plagued by injuries since 2019, president of basketball operations Bob Myers admitted in a conversation with Mark Medina of NBA.com that he kept his expectations for this season in check, even though he liked the roster the team put together.

Now that the Warriors are once again in the Western Conference Finals and are just four wins away from appearing in the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight years, Myers feels a sense of satisfaction about how far the team has come since its 15-50 season in 2019/20.

“What makes it most gratifying is how hard it is,” Myers told Medina. “Having a couple of years out of the playoffs was not fun. But I have a better appreciation for being here and where we are now.”

Myers’ discussion with Medina touched on a wide variety of topics, including Jordan Poole‘s emergence, the Warriors’ approach to the trade deadline, and Andre Iguodala‘s health. Here are a few highlights from the Q&A, which is worth checking out in full:

Myers on Poole’s breakout season and success in the playoffs:

“We saw the potential. But when we draft players (late in the first round), realistically it’s really hard to know where it’s going to go. We thought it was possible, but we didn’t know he would reach it. But credit to him and the coaching staff that put the time in to perfect his craft. I’m happy for him that he’s showcasing this on a big stage, showing his skill set and fitting in with guys that are leading him. He’s been great, and I don’t know if we’d be where we are without him. It’ll be interesting to see where it all keeps going.”

On the Warriors’ decision not to add another center prior to the trade deadline in February:

“The league is realizing that size is really important, but it’s more about positional size than size at the center spot. We didn’t have a great option available to us. Secondly, I was under the impression we would have James Wiseman. He was trending well. We thought he’d be back, ready to go and help us with that vertical space. That didn’t happen and his rehab hit a bump in the road post-deadline. That put us in a tough spot, and the (buyout) market was pretty dry. We had to march forward.

“Size still matters. But (Kevon) Looney’s been an unbelievable, steadfast guy that often gets overlooked. When we need to go bigger, Draymond (Green) and Looney have shown they can do it. They’re capable. They’re not seven feet tall, but they’re versatile, switchable and very smart. We found a way. We’ll see if it keeps working and if we continue to win.”

On Iguodala’s ongoing recovery from a neck injury:

“He’s frustrated. He wants to play. Frankly, he could help us. He’s trying to get back. Because he hasn’t been able to play, he’s used his voice and has been very vocal. He’s one of the most respected players in the league and is very, very bright. He communicates on the bench, whether it’s with our coaches, young players and our older players. That matters, especially as you go deeper in the playoffs.”

Jordan Poole Won’t Face Punishment Following Game 3

Warriors guard Jordan Poole won’t face any discipline from the NBA for a play involving Grizzlies star Ja Morant in Game 3 on Saturday, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

As we previously relayed, Poole grabbed Morant’s knee as he was swiping for the ball, and the NBA’s Most Improved Player exited the game shortly thereafter with a knee injury.

Morant likely won’t play in Game 4 as a result. Head coach Taylor Jenkins acknowledged the play postgame, but he mentioned he’d have to consult with GM Zach Kleiman before contacting the league.

Aside from the usual playoff trash talk, this isn’t the first questionable play of the series between Golden State and Memphis. Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks served a one-game suspension after he committed a flagrant 2 foul on Gary Payton II last week.

The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies 142-112 in Game 3 and now hold a 2-1 series lead. In the outing, Poole scored 27 points off the bench, shooting an efficient 11-of-17 from the floor (65%). The two teams will meet again on Monday night.

Southwest Notes: Morant-Poole, Adams, Pelicans, Doncic

When Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks committed a hard foul on Warriors guard Gary Payton II, in an eventual 106-101 Game 2 Memphis win, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had harsh words for the play. “There’s a code that players follow,” Kerr said at the time. “Dillion Brooks broke the code.” Payton fractured his elbow and is set to miss three-to-five weeks of postseason play with the injury. Brooks was subsequently suspended for one game.

Now that the shoe is potentially on the other foot, Alex Kennedy of Basketball News wonders if the code was broken once again in Game 3, a 142-112 Warriors win. Warriors guard Jordan Poole grabbed Grizzlies All-Star point guard Ja Morant‘s right knee on a play, and Morant subsequently left the contest with an apparent injury. Morant initially tweeted a video of the Poole foul, while quoting Kerr’s “broke the code” comment. Morant has since wiped that post.

“I don’t have a take,” Kerr said of the interaction, per Mark Medina of NBA.com (via Twitter). “There’s nothing to comment on.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies center Steven Adams deserves to return to the Memphis starting lineup, opines Damichael Cole of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Though the more athletic and switchable Xavier Tillman has supplanted Adams at center for the Grizzlies’ last six contests, Cole believes the rebounding of Adams will be key for Memphis against the smaller Warriors. The burly big man is also excellent at the kinds of little plays that may not show up in box scores, such as devastating screen-setting.
  • The Pelicans have a variety of intriguing roster-building decisions to make during their offseason. Will Guillory of The Athletic discusses a handful of issues for New Orleans this summer, including potential extensions for new additions CJ McCollum and Larry Nance Jr., the team’s future at point guard, the fate of Jaxson Hayes, and more. The first part of Guillory’s series on the Pelicans’ offseason was previously linked here.
  • Mavericks All-Star guard Luka Doncic has flexed plenty of playoff muscle this postseason, leading Dallas to its first second-round appearance in 11 years. Cydney Henderson of USA Today writes that Doncic proved his mettle in his winning both a EuroLeague title and EuroLeague MVP in 2018, prior to arriving stateside in the NBA draft. He has been training his whole life for this moment. Henderson notes that Doncic has been playing basketball since he was seven months old. His father Sasa Doncic was a pro in various European leagues. “I played basketball because (my dad) played basketball,” Doncic said. “I was always with him on the court. Always at the games just shooting basketballs.”

Warriors Notes: Poole, Porter, Kuminga, Wiggins

Before the controversy over Ja Morant‘s injured knee that dominated the postgame talk after Saturday’s GrizzliesWarriors game, there was already a strong focus on his matchup with Jordan Poole, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. After three days of hearing questions about his defense following Morant’s 47-point explosion in Game 2, Poole responded by taking the ball at Morant repeatedly Saturday night.

Both players were selected in the 2019 draft, but while Morant was the second pick and his path to stardom was quick, Poole was taken at No. 28 and had to live with an early label of being a bust before proving that he can play. He welcomes the opportunity to measure himself against Morant, Thompson writes, and he responded to a challenge laid down by his veteran teammates to keep competing no matter how many times he’s targeted on defense.

“It’s going to keep happening,” Stephen Curry said. “Whether it’s me, him, whoever. That’s the nature of the playoffs. But you just have to take that challenge seriously. You have to have some pride around it, knowing that they are trying to put you in the actions for a reason. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get a stop every time. It just means you did your job.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • The team’s most important offseason addition has turned out to be Otto Porter, who signed a veteran’s minimum contract last summer, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Porter’s numbers — 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots — didn’t stand out on Saturday, but he was plus-30 in 24 minutes of action and ranks second on the team at plus-76 in the playoffs. According to Kawakami, Golden State tried to sign Patty Mills and Nicolas Batum to a mid-level deal last summer, but turned to Porter when Mills and Batum chose other teams.
  • Rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga was the newest member of the starting lineup Saturday night, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Coach Steve Kerr wants to keep Poole in a reserve role and there are spacing issues when Kevon Looney plays alongside Draymond Green, so Kerr opted for Kuminga, who scored 18 points and matched up well when he was switched onto Morant.
  • Andrew Wiggins set a personal playoff record with 15 points in the first half Saturday, adding another dimension to the Warriors’ potent offense, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “That’s what we’ve been asking Wiggs to do all year … put your head down and get to the hole,” Green said. “It’s very hard to stop him from getting to the basket. It’s bigger than just dunks. The way he’s been rebounding and the physicality that he’s been playing with and boxing out … he’s been doing an incredible job no matter who he gets matched up on.”

Ja Morant Hurts Knee In Game 3 Loss

Grizzlies star Ja Morant limped out of the arena after injuring his right knee late in tonight’s game, tweets Jared Greenberg of TNT. Doctors examined Morant following the game, but the results haven’t been announced.

The injury appeared to happen on a play where Warriors guard Jordan Poole was swiping at the ball and grabbed Morant’s knee instead. Morant didn’t talk to reporters, but he sent out a tweet with a video link to the play and the message “broke the code,” a reference to what Golden State coach Steve Kerr said about Dillon Brooks after his flagrant foul injured Gary Payton II in Game 2. That tweet was later removed.

In his postgame press conference, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said “it looks like Jordan Poole grabbed (Morant’s) knee and pulled it” (Twitter link from Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian). Jenkins added that he will consult with general manager Zach Kleiman before determining whether to ask the league to review the play (Twitter link).

Morant’s teammates came to his defense after the game. Desmond Bane referred to the play as a “controllable” situation and said that Poole “reached out and grabbed his knee and put (it in an awkward position). It’s unfortunate.” (Twitter link from Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN). Jaren Jackson Jr. added, “It’s unfortunate to see that type of stuff. But no one here is dirty. It’s unfortunate. You know the code. We’re going to talk about the code all series at this point.” (Twitter link from Marc J. Spears of Andscape).

Poole denied any wrongdoing, saying he was making “a basketball play” (video link from Mark Medina of USA Today). “I’m not even that kind of player,” Poole said. “I respect everybody. I hope he gets better.”

Pacific Notes: Green, Poole, Booker, Kings Job

Draymond Green picked up a Flagrant Foul 2 in the second-round opener against the Grizzlies but he’s not going to alter his style, Kendra Andrews of ESPN writes.

“I am never going to change the way I play basketball,” the Warriors forward said. “It’s gotten me this far. Gotten me three championships, four All-Stars, Defensive Player of the Year. I’m not going to change now.”

We have more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Jordan Poole‘s dramatic improvement is chronicled by Andrews in a separate story. The Warriors’ guard put in extra work during the early days of the pandemic and it has paid off. Poole’s 31-point, nine-assist game against Memphis on Sunday was the latest example of his breakthrough year. “I’ve always made people eat their words,” Poole said. “I never went to the media and said anything about anybody else. I just shut up, take it all in and let my game do the talking. It feels a lot better. Oh, my god, it feels so good.”
  • Prior to the conference semifinals matchup against Dallas on Monday night, Suns All-Star Devin Booker said the hamstring injury that cost three games in the opening round is no longer an issue, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic tweets“Feels great. Ready to go,” Booker said.
  • Among the three finalists for the coaching job, Mike Brown is the Kings’ best choice, James Ham of The Kings Beat opines. Brown checks all of the boxes, has the best résumé, and deserves another head coaching opportunity, Ham writes. Steve Clifford would be a safe choice but hasn’t enjoyed previous success like Brown, while Ham believes Mark Jackson would be a major risk.