NBA

The Golden State Warriors Think Their $2.06 Million Man Can Have a Breakout Year

The Golden State Warriors expect to be a contender in the Western Conference again in 2020-21. They will have great players on the court like Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr., Draymond Green, and James Wiseman. However, some other, smaller-named guys could prove to be crucial to their success this season. This includes a young, $2.06 million man in Jordan Poole, who could have a big second year in the league.

Jordan Poole had a nice college career at Michigan

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Before he entered the NBA, Jordan Poole had a strong college career with the University of Michigan.

During the 2017-18 season, Poole was a solid role player on a very, very good team. He averaged six points per game, and the Wolverines ultimately went to the national championship game. He had a nice game in a close Second Round win over Houston, too, as he scored eight points.

Poole was much more of a focal point of Michigan’s offense in 2018-19, though. He ultimately averaged 12.8 points per game and helped lead UM to a 30-7 record and a trip to the Sweet 16. Poole had a big game in a Second Round win over Florida, too. He scored 19 points and pulled down four rebounds.

Poole’s play in college led to him becoming a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA draft with the Golden State Warriors.

He had an OK rookie season with the Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have some talented, big-named players. However, their $2.06 million man, Jordan Poole, could have a breakout year.
Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors shoots against the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 17, 2019. | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

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Poole didn’t join the Golden State Warriors team that had just gone to five consecutive NBA Finals. This 2019-20 Warriors team didn’t have Kevin Durant as he left and went to the Brooklyn Nets. It also didn’t have Klay Thompson, as he missed the entire season due to injury. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry also only played in five games total during the season.

So, because of all this, Poole got more playing time than he might have gotten had the Warriors still had those guys. He ended up playing well at times but was inconsistent. He scored 17 points or more nine times and had five assists or more eight times. However, Poole only averaged 8.8 points per game, 2.4 assists, and 2.1 rebounds on the year. He also only shot 33.3% from the field and 27.9% from 3-point range. Those shooting numbers certainly aren’t great.

Despite struggling at times last season, though, the Warriors think Poole could end up having a breakout year this season.

Jordan Poole has a chance to have a breakout year for the Warriors

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Poole — who is making $2.06 million with the Warriors this upcoming season, per Spotrac — won’t have to be relied upon as much this year as he was last year. However, the work he put in during the offseason could lead to him being a crucial player for the Warriors this season.

According to NBC Sports, many members of the Warriors have praised Poole, his workout regimen, and how much work he put in during this offseason.

“He’s been our most consistent worker,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said recently, according to NBC Sports. “Day in and day out he’s been at Chase working with our coaches. He’s put the time and the effort in. He’s really earned the right to play and get his opportunity.”

He continued: “He’s earned some good fortune and I hope that the basketball gods reward him accordingly, because he’s done everything possible to put himself in position to succeed.”

NBC Sports reports that Poole has also adjusted his diet and has put on some muscle. He has also reached out to coaches about meeting him in the gym while he does shooting drills.

“If you check the receipts, I’ve been doing this for a while, in college and high school,” Poole said, according to NBC Sports. “I just feel like it’s natural, that whenever I’m given the time and opportunity to get better, I’m going to try to take advantage of it as best I can. And being able just to have an amazing player-development staff and an amazing coaching staff to put me in the right position in order to succeed best, I’m just so thankful for that.”

This is all pretty impressive to hear out of a young, second-year guy. Poole seems committed to getting better and performing at a higher level than he did during his rookie season. If it pays off for him, the Warriors’ $2.06 million man has a chance to have a breakout year.

Stats courtesy of Michigan Athletics and Basketball Reference