In an appearance on Gilbert Arenas’ podcast, Andre Iguodala reveals that he told Jordan Poole he’ll have to become a leader after being traded to the Wizards, relays Tristi Rodriguez of NBC Sports Bay Area. With the Warriors, Poole could lean on a veteran core consisting of Iguodala, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. He won’t have that in Washington, but Iguodala said Poole is beginning to take on that role.
“He’s already starting to make the right strides,” Iguodala said. “I’ve heard about what he’s been doing with his teammates. The other day, I was asking him about his teammates, and he knew everything about every one of them. And I’m like ‘OK, now we starting off on the right path.’ He brought them all out to L.A. He did! He’s leading.”
Iguodala defended Poole’s final year with the Warriors, which was marked by turmoil leading back to Green’s punch during training camp. Iguodala says Poole continues to improve and should put up even bigger numbers now that he has his “own team.”
“He averaged 20 (points per game) last year, on a bad year. He’s going to get to the line. He’s the only one who got to the line for us last year consistently,” Iguodala said. “People act like he had a bad year. I’m like, ‘OK, a bad year? Y’all blamed him for the year we had last year and he averaged 20.’ (He will average) 25-plus, easy.”
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- After taking some time off following Summer League, Magic rookie Jett Howard is “back in the lab” and getting ready for his rookie season, Jason Beede of The Orlando Sentinel writes in a subscriber-only piece. Howard has also been watching new teammate Paolo Banchero with Team USA and trying to learn from his approach to the game. “Just how to be useful in any position that they put you in,” Howard said. “He’s like a Swiss Army knife. That holds value itself. He can guard the 1 through 5 and we look up to that.”
- The Heat don’t appear to have any interest in Christian Wood, even at the veteran’s minimum, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel states in a mailbag column. There may not be consistent minutes for Wood considering the other players in Miami’s front court, and Winderman doesn’t believe the team wants to hand out another guaranteed contract given the uncertainty over Damian Lillard.
- Ron Kroichick of The San Francisco Chronicle looks at how Grant Liffmann was able to rise from a Warriors post-game TV host to a vice president’s role with the Hawks.