The Golden State Warriors participated in one of the biggest trades of the offseason so far when they dispatched Jordan Poole to the Washington Wizards.
While Golden State did obviously net a future Hall of Famer in return for Poole, the move was still a surprising one. It’s rare to trade a 24-year-old you just gave a $100 million deal to one offseason earlier for an oft-injured 38-year-old.
Particularly when that oft-injured 38-year-old has already expressed a resistance to playing the way the Warriors clearly want him to play.
This week team owner Joe Lacob came out and offered some clarity on why Poole was shipped out.
In the end, it all came down to Poole’s inability to get along with some players on the Warriors (namely: Draymond Green) and his massive contract.
“I think it’s fair to say that there was some level of concern going forward, whether that was going to be something that would work out,” Lacob said.
“To be honest with you, I think it would have worked out and could have worked out. But I think it is fair to say that in order to make the team work next year, to make the numbers work and so on, someone probably was gonna be the odd man out. It just turned out – and it wasn’t planned – that it was Jordan.”
Lacob stressed that it wasn’t an easy decision – but definitely a necessary one.
“The more we processed it, the more we felt it really made sense – at least for the short to intermediate term,” Lacob continued.
“Long term, I’m not gonna deny we gave up a great attribute in Jordan Poole, who probably has a decade or so left to play in this league and is probably just going to get better. We’re going more short-term than long-term on this, but for a lot of different reasons. Both for basketball reasons and financial reasons, it just made sense to do it.”
At this point, Poole’s beef with Green is a matter of public record.
It is similarly understood that were some issues between him and head coach Steve Kerr, plus occasional tension between Poole and Klay Thompson.
What a 24 hours for Clemson. https://t.co/8ay6a7ve5j
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 5, 2023
Whether Poole will fit in better with the Wizards remains to be seen.
Either way, the winners and losers of this Poole trade will become apparent soon enough. Will the Warriors one day rue quitting on the youngster so early in his career? Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.