The Golden State Warriors have key contract decisions to make this offseason, which could leave rising guard Jordan Poole as the odd man out.
The Warriors have not been afraid to spend but find themselves in a precarious situation due to a a massive payroll and a heavy luxury tax bill. With big contracts already in the works for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors need to be very careful about extensions for Poole and Andrew Wiggins.
Although Wiggins and Poole are eligible for an extension, each has one year left on their current contracts. While the Warriors would avoid the risk of losing either by locking them in early, that’s not a necessity, especially given their situation with the luxury tax.
As the Warriors work things out, Poole is the player who could be left on the outside to look inside, for Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Before making such a big decision, the Warriors would be wise to see how both players progress over the next 12 months. But right now, given all the information out there, Poole seems like he has a better chance of being the odd one out. The reason is simple: Two-way wings like Wiggins are harder to come by than shoot-first guards like Poole.
Poole comes out of his season with Warriors
Poole became a key player for the Warriors last season and has grown particularly strong in the final period. He averaged 24.7 points on 47.3 percent shooting, including hitting his three-pointers at a 41.9 percent clip over the final 21 games of the regular season. At times, he became a defensive liability in the playoffs, but also provided timely buckets in key places, averaging 17 points during the title chase.
Poole is expected to strike a deal in the region of $100m, with fair comparisons being Portland guard Anfernee Simonswho just signed for $100 million, and Jalen Brunsonwho received $104 million from the New York Knicks.
Waiting isn’t the worst option for the Warriors with Poole to see how the situation develops. He’ll be a restricted free agent next offseason, but the team could match any deal if he maintains his form offensively, improves defensively and looks like a key player going forward.
Poole knows he’s due for a payday but said he didn’t think about his future during his exit interview.
“If I’m going to be completely honest, I haven’t even been able to figure out anything about this process yet,” Poole said June 18. “I was so locked in the Championship. Like, we know it’s going to happen, we put ourselves in situations to be successful and everything else will take care of itself.
Draymond Green also wants a Max deal
There’s the idea that the Warriors just paying all their stars is the way to go. However, The Athletic reported that the Warriors don’t think that’s a viable path, no matter how deep their pockets are as they rack up the luxury tax.
What complicated things was that Green made it clear he wanted a max level contract. It would earn him $164.2 million over the next five seasons and he would be 37 when it ended.
The former Defensive Player of the Year he has two years left on his contract, the second being a player option for the 2023-24 season. He will earn more than $54 million between those two seasons, but would like to be replaced by Golden State. However, the Warriors do not intend to offer the maximum to Green, by The Athletic.
It’s clear that tough choices lie ahead for the Warriors as they look to extend their near-decade of dominance.
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