With the NBA season starting this week, we’re running through mini previews of the Golden State Warriors’ 16 players, focusing on what their best and worst case scenario is for the upcoming year. Next up is first-round pick Jordan Poole. You can check out the other best case/worst case articles below:
5 games, 13.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game
40.0% 2FG, 33.3% 3FG, 88.2% FT, 53.7% true-shooting
2018-19 stats (University of Michigan)
37 games, 12.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game
51.8% 2FG, 36.9% 3FG, 83.3% FT, 57.3% true-shooting
Role on the 2019-20 Warriors
Poole will get his chance immediately, just as opportunities were given to fellow late first-round picks Patrick McCaw, Jordan Bell, and Jacob Eva.....oops, that logic kind of fell apart there. Sorry about that.
But Poole really will get his chance. He’s the only honest 2-guard with a guaranteed contract, though Damion Lee may see plenty of time, especially until the G League season begins.
Poole will be given a chance to be a lightening rod off the bench; to chuck up a lot of shots in the Nick Young role, but hopefully with a more balanced game and successful locker room dynamic. He’ll be counted on to score, a lot. And to shoot, a lot.
Thankfully he’s good at these things.
Best case scenario
Both the best and worst case scenarios are easy with Poole, because he has one major purpose on this team: Shoot. The best case scenario is that he makes a lot of those shots. I won’t spoil the worst case scenario until the next segment, but you can probably deduce what it is.
If Poole can knock down threes at a 37-38% clip, while also moving without the ball and getting out in transition, he can instantly become an offensive weapon. That would lead to him sporting an above-average true-shooting percentage as a bench option, which would be an enormous win for a team sorely lacking depth.
Poole won’t be a good defender, but he can at least be active and engaged, and force his opponents to work. That, combined with some hot shooting for 15-20 minutes a night, is a bench weapon the Warriors will gladly take.
Worst case scenario
Poole is a shooter, and shooters shoot. Shooters don’t always make. Despite his reputation, Poole never was a great shooter in college. He made 37.0% of his triples as a freshman, and 36.9% as a sophomore. Part of that is taking hard shots, to be sure, but he’s not the dead-eye marksman that Steph Curry or Klay Thompson is.
If the shots don’t fall, Pooley doesn’t have much else to offer. He isn’t a good defender or playmaker, at least at this stage in his career. He doesn’t beat a lot of guys off the dribble.
Struggles with his shot mean the Warriors will have to try and find a way to guarantee Damion Lee’s contract, and find some production from other places.