When the Golden State Warriors inked Jordan Poole to a $140 million contract extension in the 2022 offseason, they were seemingly putting themselves in good shape for both the present and future.
At the time, Poole represented multiple things for the Warriors: a key piece of their immediate title hopes and player to build around for years to come.
Unfortunately, the 2022-23 regular season was a pretty underwhelming one for the 23-year-old, and he certainly hasn’t done himself any favors in the 2023 NBA Playoffs. As a result, he’s earning his fair share of skeptics around the league.
“He’s empty calories,” one Eastern Conference executive said, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
The youngster’s stock clearly isn’t improving.
“He doesn’t defend, doesn’t really create for others and that Draymond [Green] incident wasn’t a great look for either of them,” another said. “The intel on Poole [and his presence in the locker room] isn’t great.”
In the 2022-23 regular season, Poole did average 20.4 points per game, but he wasn’t very efficient in doing so. He knocked down just 43.0 percent of his shots from the field and 33.6 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.
In the 2023 postseason, his play has really gone downhill. He’s averaged just 10.5 points per contest across 11 playoff games, shooting a mere 34.2 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from deep. In Golden State’s most recent playoff game, he only got 10 minutes of action and didn’t score a point.
Poole isn’t exactly an asset on the defensive end of the floor, so when his shots aren’t falling, it can be hard to justify his minutes. The former first-round pick needs to score — ideally in efficient fashion — in order to be the impactful player that the Warriors thought they were extending this past offseason.
The 6-foot-4 pro is only in his fourth NBA season, so he still has plenty of time to work on his deficiencies, but if his marriage with Golden State were to fail, the organization would likely find itself in a very difficult situation given the size of his contract.
Poole did have a major hand in the Warriors’ 2022 title, but the team is on the ropes in the 2023 postseason and faces elimination on Wednesday. Time will tell what the future holds for Poole and Golden State.