Washington Wizards: A great chance for a fresh start for Jordan Poole

Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jordan Poole of the Golden State Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Jordan Poole is a Washington Wizard.

The active summer of the Washington Wizards continues, and the latest addition to the Wizards roster is Jordan Poole.

In a trade first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Washington Wizards send Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors, in exchange for Jordan Poole, a 2027 second-rounder, Ryan Rollins, and a 2030 protected first-rounder.

Unlike the meager returns the Wizards got in Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis deals, Washington overachieved in this trade. Not only did they net an extra first-round pick, but they also got a promising young player in Poole in exchange for an aging point guard who was most likely never going to play for them.

Poole’s prime is still ahead of him

Jordan Poole is only 24 years old and has shown a lot of promise in his four years with the Golden State Warriors.

After struggling immensely as a rookie, he showed massive improvement over the years, becoming a very valuable piece in the Warriors’ rotation. He was exceptional in Golden State’s championship run in 2022, averaging 17 points and 3.8 assists on 51% shooting from the field throughout the playoffs.

He averaged over 20 points in the regular season last year, but his efficiency and playoff performance took a hit. It is important to point out the chaotic start to the season when Draymond Green infamously punched Jordan Poole in training camp. The impact this incident may have caused on Poole and the Warriors can’t be denied.

Poole certainly struggled offensively in the playoffs, making only 25% from three. His shot not falling, combined with his defensive deficiencies, Poole ended up losing his minutes in the playoff rotation.

Poole’s electrifying skill set is undeniable

Yet, there is no denying Poole’s talent. He is a dynamic scorer with an electrifying first step and the ability to get to the rim. He is a three-level scorer with the ability to hit off-the-dribble three-pointers, finish inside the paint and get to the free-throw line. Players who can average 20 points per game with above-league-average efficiency are hard to find.

The main reason the Warriors had to part ways with Poole was a financial one. Poole’s four-year contract extension starting at $28.7 million next season kicks in, and the Warriors are in a financial crunch going forward, especially with the new collective bargaining agreement.

Considering the spat between Draymond Green and Poole, Golden State didn’t have much of an option but to say goodbye to Poole.

Poole certainly needs a fresh start. As streaky scorers usually do, he needs to gain his confidence back. And he has a great opportunity to do that with the Wizards. He could be the lead scorer of this team, and explore the studio space as much as he wants. If he continues to improve, the Wizards will have a long-term piece on their hands.

There are still areas of improvement for Poole to take the next step

To get to the next level and become a solid starter, Poole certainly needs to improve on the defensive end. His lack of effort and concentration was apparent during most of his Golden State tenure.

Offensively, he needs to work on his ball handling. He is very loose with the ball, constantly getting it poked and turning the ball over carelessly.

Yet, his dynamism, quickness, and speed are very useful both in transition and half-court. He will provide the scoring punch the Wizards need after the departures of Beal and Porzingis.

Jordan Poole is certainly not a perfect player, but he has the building blocks to be a great scorer in this league for a long time. It is an exciting decision for the Wizards to take a chance on a high-upside prospect. Poole Party will continue in Washington.