15.5 points and 3.7 assists per game on 39.2% from the field and 27.8% from three is not what the Washington Wizards had in mind when they acquired Jordan Poole from the Golden State Warriors this offseason. Fans and the organization alike were hoping for Poole to take the next step in his development and thrive as a leader of his own team. Instead, not only is he having the worst season of his career statistically, but he also looks disengaged, unmotivated, and frustrated. His shot selection, defensive effort, and overall intensity have been deeply disappointing.
Poole was supposed to be one the two best players on the Wizards this season. In fact, in many of the national preseason player rankings, Poole was considered the best Wizard. In reality, he has possibly been the most damaging Wizards player. He is getting outplayed by the rest of the starters and has fallen in the offensive hierarchy, as Kyle Kuzma, Tyus Jones, and Deni Avdija take on more of the playmaking duties.
The shot will almost certainly go in at a higher clip for Poole. He is not going to continue struggling with putting the ball in the basket as badly as he has so far. However, that is not the main reason for disappointment.
As the highest-paid player with the largest reputation on the team, Poole needs to lead by example. Teams take their cues from their leaders. If your leader is not playing with intensity, effort, and discipline, that is going to infect the rest of the team. Poole failing to do that through 12 games is the cause for disappointment.
The Wizards fans hope that this is just an adjustment phase for Poole. Once the shot goes in, his confidence comes back, and he starts being a better leader. Otherwise, the Wizards’ Poole problem will continue to grow.