Jordan Poole is off to a slow start in his first season as a member of the Washington Wizards franchise. His stats of 16.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game are solid at first glance, but he’s been a pretty inefficient offensive player.
The 24-year-old guard is shooting just 39.6 percent from the field and 28.4 percent from behind the 3-point arc. Additionally, he’s averaging 2.9 turnovers per game.
One NBA executive reportedly believes that the Wizards are “stuck with him.”
“The [Golden State] Warriors did not really want to give him that money, but they knew they had to and that they could move him on later — they were hoping he would play better and they could get something more for him than Chris Paul, but that didn’t happen,” the executive told Heavy Sports. “But now Jordan Poole is the Wizards’ problem. They’re stuck with him. You’re not going to get a first-round pick. The Warriors were lucky to just get out from the contract. The Warriors had to give away a first-rounder to dump him.”
Perhaps Poole could become more tradable as he gets closer to the end of his four-year, $128 million contract.
“He needs a full year of playing better,” the executive said. “He needs to shoot it better. Leadership, he needs to be a leader. He needs to win a few games with that team. You also have to have that contract about halfway over because no one is committing a-hundred-and-twenty-something million to Jordan Poole. We used to call guys like that, ‘albatross’ because of how they weighed on you.”
Poole’s name has bounced around in trade rumors as of late. A belief reportedly exists that the Wizards acquired Poole to boost his value for a future trade, and Sam Amico reported that he along with Landry Shamet, Danilo Gallinari and Tyus Jones could be trade candidates for Washington this season.
For as underwhelming as Poole has played for the Wizards, he had perhaps his best performance of the season in the team’s loss to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. He scored a team-high 30 points while shooting 11-of-26 from the floor and 3-of-9 from 3-point range across 33 minutes of action.
Despite Poole’s impressive scoring display, the Wizards still lost to Milwaukee by 13 points to drop to 2-11 on the season and a ghastly 1-5 at home.
The Wizards landed Poole in a trade with the Warriors back in the offseason. Washington dealt Paul to Golden State and received Poole along with Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ryan Rollins, one first-round pick, one second-round pick and cash considerations.
Neither Baldwin nor Rollins have seen consistent minutes with the Wizards so far this season. The former has appeared in just three games, while the latter has played in eight but is averaging just 6.1 minutes per game.
It’s arguable whether Poole has played well enough this season to justify a salary of more than $27 million. But maybe his showing against the Bucks will prove to be a positive turning point in his season.