Warriors Insider on Jordan Poole Contract: 'Doesn’t Appear to Be a Level of Urgency'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJuly 27, 2022

Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) during Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics in San Francisco, Monday, June 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

The Golden State Warriors and guard Jordan Poole are reportedly expected to discuss a new contract ahead of the Oct. 18 deadline for rookie extensions.

Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reported Wednesday that while the sides are expected to "engage" in talks, so far there "doesn't appear to be a level of urgency" from the Dubs' front office.

Poole was one of the breakout stars of the 2021-22 NBA season. He initially helped fill a starting spot while Klay Thompson recovered from injury and then played a key reserve role as the Warriors rolled to a championship in June.

The third-year guard averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds across 76 regular-season appearances. He shot 44.8 percent from the field, 36.4 percent on threes and 92.5 percent from the free-throw line.

His rookie contract includes a team-friendly $3.9 million cap hit for 2022-23 and the Warriors can extend a qualifying offer next offseason to make him a restricted free agent.

So there isn't a ton of time pressure on Golden State to offer him an extension that would likely include a significant pay raise, especially since the team likely wants to maintain a little financial flexibility amid speculation they could bring back Kevin Durant.

On the flip side, Poole's growth into a valuable offensive weapon and potential foray into free agency next summer mean he's set to cash in regardless of whether the offer comes from Golden State or another organization.

The Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs are among the possible suitors for an offer sheet if he does hit the free-agent market next summer, per Slater and Thompson.

Of course, the Warriors would have the opportunity to match any proposal the 23-year-old University of Michigan product receives if he's given the qualifying offer.

So the lack of urgency ahead of the October deadline isn't a surprise. Poole is an important piece for the Warriors as they attempt to bridge toward a new era in the years ahead after long-term success led by Thompson, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, and he'll eventually be paid like a franchise cornerstone if he continues his upward trajectory.

If there's no movement on the Durant front over the next six weeks, perhaps the Warriors will get more aggressive in their efforts to re-sign Poole ahead of the deadline. They sound content to let him play out his rookie contract for now, though.