NBA players drafted toward the end of the first round often aren’t expected to do much in the league, especially not right away. With Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole, that was certainly the case.
Many had him pegged as a second round pick, but Warriors general manager Bob Myers pulled the trigger on the Michigan product with the 28th choice in 2019. Poole’s shaky play during his rookie season suggested Myers made a huge mistake — but now, Poole’s exponential growth is paying dividends and figures to make an impact as Golden State attempts to win another title with superstar guard Stephen Curry in the coming seasons.
Poole was instrumental in the Warriors’ unlikely wins over the Jazz and Suns on Monday and Tuesday, scoring 20 points in each contest. In the win against the Suns, he nailed a 3-point shot to take the lead in the waning minutes. He’s become a factor, even drawing extra attention from the defense.
Here’s some more insight on Poole’s recent run from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Rusty Simmons.
In back-to-back victories over first-place Utah and second-place Phoenix, Poole combined for 40 points on 7-of-16 shooting from 3-point range and 9-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line. In 39 minutes, he didn’t commit a turnover.Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle
No turnovers? Watching Poole play a season ago, that fact seems almost impossible. He was a bit of a mess out there, a ball of energy with no clear direction. But Poole’s channeled his energy, speed, quickness and skill to vastly outpace expectations for a late first-round draft pick.
In just his second year, he’s a vital piece on a postseason-bound squad. Plus, for a Warriors team with a top-heavy salary structure, Poole’s rapid development will make a huge impact for Myers as he attempts to build a supporting roster with inexpensive options. It’s the best of all worlds, and Myers can go ahead and pat himself on the back for making a bold choice — and getting a bold player in return.
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