Jordan Poole is taking off in his third season with the Warriors, as many expected. Plenty of hype surrounded the shooting guard entering the campaign and he has been mercurial while averaging a career-best 17.9 points in 30.3 minutes per game.
Poole has solidified himself as the team’s third-most consistent scoring option behind Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins but Klay Thompson appears just weeks away from returning and taking over the starting shooting guard role. Still, it’s time to start thinking about Poole’s contract situation given his growing production and the Warriors’ mammoth payroll.
The Athletic’s Anthony Slater joined 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny and Guru” Tuesday to discuss the upcoming Portland Trail Blazers matchup, James Wiseman’s recovery and Poole’s contract. You can listen to the full interview above.
Poole is making $2.16 million in his rookie deal this year and will become eligible for an extension this upcoming offseason. His salary rises to $3.9 million in 2022-23 under Poole’s current rookie deal.
“The Warriors have him under a cheap contract next season,” Slater said. “But if they don’t sign him to an extension then he’s going to restricted free agency after next year. Now, you still have a lot of team control there. You can match anything, any contract that’s offered.”
Slater cited projections done by ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who estimates player values based on production, and said Poole is playing like he’s worth $18 million this season.
“So I think we’re talking about a 4 [years] for $80 [million contract] at this point,” Slater said. “Maybe if he explodes in the playoffs something greater than that. He might get expensive pretty quick.”
According to Spotrac, Poole’s max deal could be worth up to five years, $184 million, but he’d be hard-pressed to command that type of money. Still, $20 mill a year sounds like a nice payday for Poole.
You’d also have to consider the luxury tax commitments for the Warriors, which could severely increase the amount of the financial commitment. This situation will change, but Poole will likely be putting some financial pressure on the Warriors next summer. Golden State currently has a $175.9 million payroll -- well above the $136.6 million luxury tax threshold -- along with a whopping $170 million tax bill, per Spotrac.
Slater also gave a lofty Poole comparison he's heard from industry insiders.
“The name I would hear sometimes behind the scene is C.J. McCollum,” Slater said. “That level of player. Maybe he won’t ever be an All-Star, but very much seems like he’s on the path of fringe-level All-Star, like and 18-point per game scorer for a long time.”