NBA rumors: Could Warriors wait on tricky Jordan Poole contract extension?

Four first-round picks from the 2019 NBA Draft have already inked contract extensions.

Could Jordan Poole be next?

His looming negotiations with the Warriors might be the “trickiest” of all the 2019 first-rounders, per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, thanks to his incredible production this past season and the path he took to get there.

Poole, the No. 28 overall pick in 2019, became eligible to sign a rookie-scale extension on July 6. If a new deal between the two parties isn’t agreed upon by Oct. 17, Poole will become a restricted free agent next summer.

“Strategically, Golden State has every financial incentive to let Poole play his fourth year without a new deal framework,” Fischer wrote. “…And if he repeats, or even improves upon, his sizzling production in 2022-23, the Warriors likely won’t blink an eye at rewarding Poole with a maximum deal, solidifying the franchise’s bridge into a post-Steph Curry era .

“If Poole regresses — or simply entrenches himself as a strong starter-level player rather than a budding All-Star — then Golden State might be able to find an agreement closer to Anfernee Simons’ four-year, $100 million deal with Portland this summer.”

Poole went from playing in the G League in 2020-21 to averaging 18.5 points for the Warriors last season and leading the NBA in free-throw percentage. He was also a key offensive piece during Golden State’s latest NBA Finals run, both off the bench and as a starter.

With Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson all eligible for extensions as well, could it be in the Warriors’ best interest to hold off and see if Poole earns a max contract with another season of stellar play? If that’s the case, they’re likely to pay up. But if not, Golden State will still have an opportunity to match any offer from other teams vying for the young talent come 2023.

On a recent podcast appearance with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said there’s “no rush” to extend Poole or Wiggins — yet.

“We have time to do those things,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob told Kawakami in early July. “There’s no rush on all that. I’m sure there will be some discussions this summer. But we haven’t talked to them.”

The Warriors already have three high-earning superstars like Steph Curry, Green and Thompson on the roster, so paying Poole, too, could prove difficult. Golden State consistently is well over the luxury tax line with the league’s most expensive roster.

One unknown team cap strategist told Fischer the Warriors might want to wait and see what kind of 2022-23 season Poole has before backing up the Brink’s truck.

RELATED: Report: Warriors reluctant to trade Poole, youngsters for KD

“‘What’s the upside in locking him in now?’ Fischer wrote, quoting the cap expert. ” ‘He’s not Luka Luka Dončić or Donovan Mitchell, who’ve proven they can carry a team. He’s close. If he does it again, you pay him. But prior to this year he was a borderline rotation player.'”

Poole certainly has altered expectations after his breakout season. But whether or not the Warriors reward him now or wait to find out if he can do it again remains to be seen.

Until then, Dub Nation will continue to enjoy the Poole Party in the Bay.

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