Jordan Poole got his bag.
The fourth-year Warriors guard is finalizing a four-year, $140 million rookie contract extension, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the deal includes $123 million guaranteed and another $17 million in incentives. Poole’s reps had been negotiating with the Warriors since their return from a Japan preseason trip, so this news was somewhat expected.
The extension was formally announced by the Warriors Sunday morning.
“We’re thrilled to have Jordan in the fold for the next several years,” Bob Myers said in a statement. “He’s one of the bright, young players in our league and his work ethic and commitment to the game are impressive qualities that can’t be understated. He’ll be an important part of our future core and success, much like he was during last year’s run to the NBA championship.”
What a whirlwind it’s been for Jordan Poole these past couple weeks.
He caught himself in the middle of the NBA’s biggest controversy last week, when he was on the receiving end of a punch from Draymond Green in practice. We haven’t heard from Poole about the whole incident yet, but Steve Kerr and the Warriors are set to address the media Sunday afternoon, so there’s a good chance he could be made available for questions.
Poole probably saw it coming. His friend and fellow 2019 first-rounder Tyler Herro recently signed a four-year, $130 million extension that included $10 million of hard-to-achieve incentives.
Poole and the Warriors were approaching the Oct. 17 deadline to strike a deal. If the two sides didn’t come to an agreement, Poole could have been a restricted free agent next summer. Given his career trajectory, it’s not out of the question to think he could have parlayed a big season into a max extension, which is capped out at five years, $188 million.
Given the Warriors’ impending financial crunch for next summer, getting him at this rate could be viewed as a steal by 2023. Andrew Wiggins will be an unrestricted free agent and max contract candidate. After they clinched the 2022 NBA title in Boston, Poole and Wiggins celebrated with champagne saying, “We gonna get a bag!”
So, the Warriors made a big commitment, but it was a timely one. Poole is due to make $3.9 million this season on the final year of his rookie deal.
When Poole's extension kicks in for 2023-24, Steph Curry’s salary will jump to nearly $52 million, Klay Thompson’s will be $43.2 million, Draymond Green holds a $27.6 million player option, James Wiseman has a $12.1 million club option and Kevon Looney is due $7.5 million. Even Jonathan Kuminga ($6 million) and Moses Moody ($3.9 million) will start becoming a salary factor. It behooved the Warriors to get a deal done now.
Poole’s rise has been remarkable since the Warriors picked him No. 28 overall out of Michigan in 2019. His rookie season, Poole shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and 27.9 percent from 3-point land, as the Warriors stumbled to a league-worst 15-50 record.
In 2020-21, Poole appeared in 51 games with Golden State while splitting time with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G League. After he returned from the G League bubble in Florida that March, we saw the shades of the explosive playmaker and scorer that we see on a nightly basis.
Last season, Poole played a key role in the team’s 23-5 start, as he started all 28 games and averaged 17.9 points per game. Down the stretch, he scored at least 20 points in 17 straight games. Going forward, Kerr said he wants to see Poole improve on defense so he can log more than 17 minutes per game in the Finals.
We got a glimpse of the future on Sunday, when he and James Wiseman looked like an unstoppable pick-and-roll combo. They could be the engine of the next wave of the Warriors future, along with 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
Big things are expected from Poole in his sixth-man role for 2022-23. Now he’s got his big bag waiting in 2023-24.