Jordan Poole has been one of the most disappointing players in the NBA this season. Brought in as a leader and a potential star candidate, Poole has failed to live up to expectations for the Washington Wizards. He hasn't been making any shots or playing any defense and looks utterly lost out there most of the time. It's hard to believe but the problem has actually gotten worse over the past few games.
It's true that the Wizards offensive ecosystem is not the perfect environment to thrive in. Head coach Wes Unseld Jr doesn't make things easier for his players. There is an overall lack of creativity and ball movement. There isn't enough spacing in a lot of lineups. However, it's also true that Poole should be able to find a way to be more impactful than he has been.
The Wizards games are fast-paced, high-tempo occasions. One would expect that the run-and-gun style of basketball would actually benefit Poole. It should be easier for him to score and be effective in transition. Instead, he is shooting 41.1% from the field and 31.6% from three, averaging only 16.9 points per game.
Things have looked even worse in the past four games. Poole has looked completely deflated recently, shooting 37.2% from the field, and averaging 10 points per game in that span. He hasn't attempted a single free throw in the last few games. That shows a lack of intensity and intention.
Poole's calling card in his game is the scoring. If he is taking so many shots without making them while also not going to the free-throw line, he isn't bringing much else on the offensive end. His defense continues to be one of the worst in the league. He struggles to get back on defense, gives up on plays, and doesn't have the size and physicality to have an impact on that end.
This combination of high usage, low efficiency, poor effort, and bad defense makes a very damaging player, especially if that player is also the highest-paid player on the team, making an average of over $30 million annually for the next three years. This makes Poole not only one of the most overpaid players in the league, but it also means that the Washington Wizards are likely stuck with him for the foreseeable future.
And if you are stuck with him, there is nothing else to do except keep playing him and hope he starts playing better. But until then, forget about being competitive or winning games.