Jordan Poole has been essential for the Warriors this season, averaging 16.4 points, 3.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game and filling the role of Klay Thompson until he returned from injury. If he comes off the bench enough games the final two months of the season, he could be on many voters’ ballots for Sixth Man of the Year (and he will be critical leading that second unit in the postseason).
All that has the Warriors looking to lock him up and extend his contract this offseason, reports Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Warriors also will try to sign Poole to a multiyear extension this summer, which would allow them to avoid having to deal with him in restricted free agency in 2023. Keith Smith, a salary-cap expert for Spotrac, estimates that deal to be in the four-year, $80 million range.
That’s slightly above average starter money for a two guard in the league right now, but it’s not unreasonable considering Poole’s value to the team. (Poole has one more season after this on his rookie contract, for $3.9 million, the extension would kick in after that.)
Also, extending Poole could be insurance if Andrew Wiggins decides to leave — or the Warriors don’t want to pay him — when his contract is up in the summer of 2023. Wiggins, a first-time All-Star this season, will make $33.6 million next season and then becomes a free agent. If Wiggins wants a max contract or anything close to it (four years, about $150 million), the Warriors may choose to let Wiggins walk and bank on Poole stepping into that role.
The Warriors don’t have to extend Poole this offseason; they wait for Poole to become a restricted free agent in 2023 and let the market decide his worth. However, they have been good about locking up key players in the past and this could be another example of that.
One way or another, Poole will get paid, and the Warriors want to be the ones to pay him.