The Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA Championship in the iteration of their Big 3 and head coach Steve Kerr. The 2022 crown was far different from the previous ones as the journey was more tumultuous, and there were more young guns that were included on their roster. Jordan Poole is a fantastic piece, who was phenomenal in the first three rounds of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
Poole’s rookie contract was up for an extension, and the Warriors locked him up for four years, $140 million. As the contract kicks in starting next season, it could be a bone-headed mistake for the Warriors because Poole was horrific in 2023, and his trade value is not as high as they hoped. The guaranteed contract limits the moves Golden State can execute in the offseason, but there is one hypothetical trade between the Warriors and Houston Rockets that was proposed on The Athletic.
Rockets receive: Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga
Warriors receive: Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate, K.J. Martin, the No. 4 pick in 2023, Houston’s first-round picks in 2025 and 2027
From Rockets perspective:
The starting backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green do not mesh well together. Both individuals have a pure scoring and shoot-first mentality rather than being a floor general and involving their teammates. Porter Jr. has had his fair share of off-court issues as well, so why should not the organization pounce on the massive opportunity of adding a talented individual like Jordan Poole.
His trade value is at its lowest at the moment, so Houston can pounce on the rare chance, especially because they have the cap space to absorb the salary of Jordan Poole. Compared to the Warriors who have a ton of committed money on their payroll, Houston can take a calculated risk on Poole’s four-year deal. Moreover, the Rockets will be able to add an absolutely talented forward in Jonathan Kuminga as well.
The Warriors do not have space to pay him, so it is inevitable for him to be shipped out. Poole and Kuminga have been heavily criticized with their basketball IQ, but the hiring of former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka will be an immense boost to their upside with the Rockets.
From Warriors perspective:
There is no question that the Draymond Green and Jordan Poole training camp incident negatively affected the vibes on the Golden State locker room. Furthermore, his subpar production in their 2023 campaign was a sign from other individuals that it is time to move on from Poole and add supplementary pieces that complement the nucleus of Golden State.
In the aforementioned trade proposal, the inclusion of Kevin Porter Jr. is iffy because his approach does not seem to fit the system of the Warriors. However, Jae’Sean Tate and K.J. Martin are two incredible athletes who can flourish in any system even if they do not have superb talent. The Warriors lacked the bodies who were willing to do the dirty work and athletic forwards and bigs who can rebound and defend, so Tate and Martin will fill-in that gap.
For this trade to be successful, Golden State must be very convinced that the fourth pick in the 2023 NBA Draft will contribute instantly to their championship aspirations. Any of the Thompson twins or Jarace Walker must contribute at a bigger level than Jordan Poole or Jonathan Kuminga for this trade to make sense for Golden State. The two future draft assets in 2025 and 2027 will not benefit the current iteration of the Warriors, so there is no reason for that to be a reason on why the trade will push through.
Rockets grade : B+
Warriors grade : D