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Ranking all of Steph’s teammates: #72 — Jordan Poole

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He’ll be higher before too long.

Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

On June 25, 2009, the Golden State Warriors drafted Steph Curry. Ten years and 16 days later, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. With that move, Curry moved to second in the NBA for longest tenure with his current team. The only player he sits behind is Udonis Haslem, though that feels like a technicality. At this point, Haslem is essentially an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, having appeared in just 43 games and played fewer than 300 minutes over the last four seasons combined.

During his time in the Bay Area, Curry has had 106 teammates who have appeared in at least one game. Some played in exactly one game, while others played in hundreds. Some never actually played in a game that Curry was active for, while others formed historically great partnerships with him.

And I’m ranking all 106 over the course of a few months.

Players are ranked — and stats are shown — based only on their time as Curry’s teammate. How good/bad they were in other organizations doesn’t matter. How good/bad they were on pre-2009-10 Warriors teams doesn’t matter.

To see all of the rankings thus far, you can click on the “Ranking Steph’s teammates” tag at the top of the article.


#72 — Jordan Poole

Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Games: 57 (T-46th out of 106)
Points per game: 8.8 (31st out of 106)
Rebounds per game: 2.1 (T-67th out of 106)
Assists per game: 2.4 (T-20th out of 106)

Let’s make one thing abundantly clear, first and foremost: I expect Jordan Poole to not only rise up this list, but fly up this list as the years go on.

While we’re at it, let’s make a second thing very, very clear: Poole would probably already be higher on this list had he not been forced into huge minutes on a very bad Warriors team.

Poole was supposed to be a bench option on a contending team, given a chance to develop with stars around him and in limited minutes and preferable situations. But injuries and poor play from his teammates forced him into a heavy role on a team that was no longer designed to put him in good positions. He started 14 games as a rookie, and averaged more than 22 minutes per night. He was often the primary or secondary ballhandler, when he was drafted to play off ball. He was often the second option on offense when he was supposed to only be the fourth or fifth during his rookie campaign.

Such is life in the NBA.

I’m high on Poole — a lot higher than most. I’m high on him because I think his passing proved to be magnificent, which wasn’t something I thought was in his game. I’m high on him because I think he showed defensive potential. I’m high on him because if he can start shooting decently — which is what he was drafted with the number 28 pick in 2019 to do — I think everything will fall into place.

But this series is about describing players, not projecting them. And in his rookie year, in his less-than-ideal circumstances, Poole struggled in a big way. His jumper abandoned him, as he made just 27.9% of his three-pointers — a mark identical to Draymond Green this year, and lower than any other year of Green’s career since his rookie season.

And that was on high volume (10.0 per 100 possessions), which only exacerbated measures. That led to a true-shooting percentage of just 45.4% which is ... well ... really bad.

Pair that with defense that wasn’t good — even if it was at times encouraging — and you have a player who simply provided a lot of negative value.

That’s not intended as a knock. Almost every NBA rookie provides negative value, and Poole’s situation was nearly impossible to thrive in.

Ultimately, he provided a lot of reasons for the Warriors to be optimistic, and that’s the most important thing a first-year player can do. If I redo this article in a few years he might be 50 spots higher. But for now, he’s Curry’s 72nd-best Warriors teammate.

But seriously, watch these highlights and tell me you’re not optimistic:

Poll

What do you think of Jordan Poole’s ranking?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    He was better than #72
    (60 votes)
  • 26%
    #72 is just right
    (31 votes)
  • 23%
    He was worse than #72
    (28 votes)
119 votes total Vote Now