So much for getting punched by Draymond Green complicating Jordan Poole’s long-term future with the Golden State Warriors.  According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Poole is on verge of signing a four-year, $140 million extension that will keep him in the Bay through 2026-27.

The deal comes just over 48 hours before the league’s deadline for rookie-scale extensions on Monday afternoon, negating all potential fallout from the prospect of Poole playing 2022-23 prior to hitting restricted free agency next summer. He’s not going anywhere now, a boon for the Warriors as their title defense dawns amid continued scrutiny from the fracas that threatened to derail their season.

Here are three reasons why Poole’s new contract is a major win for Golden State.

3. At least the Warriors re-upped Poole for less than the max

The baseline for Poole’s extension negotiations was written on the wall from the moment Tyler Herro inked his deal with the Miami Heat on October 2nd. Poole was never going to accept anything less than the four-year, $120 million contract signed by his fellow Milwaukee native, likely demanding more coming off a stellar playoff debut during the Warriors’ championship run while still possessing more room to grow than Herro going forward.

Poole’s market resetting itself so late in the game is a risk Golden State took after putting off serious discussions with his agents until the team returned from its preseason trip to Japan. Jalen Brunson’s four-year, $104 million contract with the New York Knicks seemed like a fair jumping off point in the early stage of free agency. The four-year, $107 million extension R.J. Barrett got from New York on August 30th served as another rough framework for management and Poole’s camp to begin extension talks.

It’s unclear if Poole would’ve signed a deal that left him some $25-30 million short of the guaranteed money he ultimately received. Considering his unwavering confidence and the fact his rapid ascent still isn’t over, odds are that Poole would’ve bet on himself in restricted free agency rather than settle for a contract just slightly more lucrative than Brunson and Barrett’s. Maybe Bob Myers and company always knew those terms were a non-starter for Poole.

Regardless, Golden State certainly didn’t save itself much money by waiting to re-up Poole until mid-October, at least in terms of salary alone. His max deal would’ve come in at just more than $150 million over four years. Instead, the Warriors will pay Poole some $2-3 million less annually than the maximum was set to award him. Raw contract totals aren’t what Joe Lacob is growing increasingly hesitant to pay, though.

Poole’s extension vaults Golden State’s projected team salary well over the expected $170.4 million luxury tax threshold for 2023-24, even before accounting for Andrew Wiggins’ free agency—not to mention Green’s player option. Every additional million in salary from here will be counted five times and more in extra payouts to teams below the luxury tax.

Lacob is a billionaire and his franchise basically prints money, but the potential $10 million or more in tax payments next season the Warriors saved by keeping Poole from restricted free agency and locking him up for less than the max isn’t insignificant, especially in context of ownership balking at the possibility of a $400 million payroll. Every dollar counts for Golden State these days. With Poole playing good soldier after Green’s punch then absolutely showing out in preseason action, he established additional leverage over the Warriors right as extension discussions were bound to heat up with the Monday deadline approaching.

Anything short of a max contract for Poole could be considered a bargain this time next year, let alone come the cap spike before 2025-26.

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2. The next-gen Dubs will remain intact

Moses Moody already seems entrenched in Steve Kerr’s rotation. Jonathan Kuminga flashed highly intriguing playmaking chops in Golden State’s exhibition finale on Friday night, making his case for major minutes this season while stoking excitement about his long-term future. James Wiseman, borderline dominant in preseason action offensively, looks more ready for regular playing time than anyone outside the Warriors could’ve imagined before training camp tipped off in late September.

But even if the Warriors’ prized recent lottery picks scrape their ultimate potential, none of them project as the dynamic driver of efficient offense Poole was from start to finish last season.

The redundancies with Stephen Curry are obvious. Diminishing returns normally associated with like-styled teammates who deserve ample usage don’t apply to Curry and Poole; their off-ball shooting prowess and incessant movement within Golden State’s offensive attack make sure of that. It’s the other end of the floor where spending well more than half the salary cap on relatively undersized guards presents questions, and Kerr didn’t have a sustainable answer for them in the playoffs.

The Warriors actually defended well with Curry and Poole playing together against the Boston Celtics, but it’s telling they only shared the floor for 65 minutes in the Finals, per Curry spent more court time with every other member of Golden State’s top-eight—including Gary Payton II, who missed the opener against Boston—than he did Poole as the Larry O’Brien Trophy hung in the balance.

Difficult as he makes it to fathom, though, Curry won’t be around forever. Poole will shoulder even more responsibility offensively as the twilight of his career finally emerges, then take the torch from one of the greatest players ever when it’s finally time for Curry to hang it up. Golden State’s optimistic trajectory post-Curry is still more hopeful than set in stone for now. But absent Poole in the fold, expectations for that far-off future would be far more theoretical, with contention reliant on Kuminga and Wiseman developing into full-fledged stars.

Poole’s presence all but guarantees the Warriors can still compete toward the top of the West whenever the next generation’s time really comes.

1.  Golden State’s focus shifts fully to repeating as champions

Poole insisted at Media Day that he wouldn’t let extension talks affect his approach as Golden State began its quest for back-to-back titles. Green later admitted that he didn’t expect to sign a new contract before next summer. Andrew Wiggins indicated he was just as comfortable playing 2022-23 on his current deal as signing a new contract prior to hitting free agency come July.

Poole’s extension hardly means the Warriors have easier decisions to make before 2023-24. He was always first in the extension pecking order, and the punch further separated Poole from Green and Wiggins in that regard. Klay Thompson is also up for an extension, but has two full years left on his contract.

Like Green said at Media Day, he and Wiggins have already earned generational wealth in their careers. Poole hadn’t, allowing for the possibility of failed extension negotiations to fester throughout the season regardless of his public-facing adamance otherwise. That friction won’t be coming to pass now. The only existential issue Golden State is left to deal with are repercussions from the altercation between Green and Poole, one that team power brokers angrily maintained had nothing to do with the latter’s reported “changing behavior” as his payday loomed.

Perhaps too much damage has been done to the Warriors’ chemistry and culture for them to repeat as champions. It definitely didn’t appear that way  in the short-term aftermath of Green’s return to the team from his unofficial suspension, though. Golden State seems ready to defend its title. And with Poole putting pen to paper on his extension, lingering fallout from Green’s punch is all that remains in the Warriors’ way.