If there’s someone within the Golden State Warriors who found it truly difficult to cut their ties with Jordan Poole, it is indeed the new top executive in Mike Dunleavy Jr.
As such, he further elaborated his decision of painful transfer to Poole in an interview with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, noting that it still serves as a win-win situation for both the promising guard and the franchise.
“As your first day on the job, you don’t love calling a guy and telling him he’d been traded,” Dunleavy said. “I told him, ‘I think this is a really great opportunity for you.’ With our backcourt set with Steph and Klay, I think Jordan, at his age (24), what he can do with the basketball on the offensive end, I think he needs a little bit of room just to run free and play. And I don’t know that we could’ve completely provided that for him over the next few years.
“So talking with Jordan about it, I think there was some sense of surprise on his end. But at the same time, I think once things settled in, I think he realizes it’s a great opportunity for him. That makes me feel better, trading him to a place where I think he has that, as opposed to someplace maybe where a guy wouldn’t want to go … Jordan’s a smart kid, I think he gets it. I think bright things are ahead for him.”
In a surprise, the Warriors opted for a salary-shedding move in the future as they pulled the trigger this summer and shipped Poole in a package to the Washington Wizards just to acquire the 38-year-old Chris Paul.
As it is, Poole may only consider his landing in D.C. as a blessing in disguise for him as he may occupy the new cornerstone role for the franchise in the post-Bradley Beal era. Washington is bound for a necessary rebuild now, and Poole could emerge as the face of their new and developing program.
Washington got plenty of reasons to be enthusiastic about Poole as the two-guard has been a microwave personified. Last 2022-23 season, the 24-year-old was able to etch a career-best 20.4 points average to go with 4.5 assists and 2.7 boards. These were his numbers upon being available for the full 82 regular season games and just started for 43 of them.
In the end, Poole now has all the green light and growth space he can get in the Wizards. Upon being able to pick up significant learnings from both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, he would truly seize every opportunity at his front to fulfill his star potential.