Jordan Poole was a double-digit scorer in his sophomore season at Michigan, but was not among the most highly-touted prospects competing at the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. Thanks to a nudge from Warriors assistant general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr., GM Bob Myers ended up focusing on the eventual first-round pick and sharpshooting sixth man that would become an integral part of the organization's 2021-22 championship aspirations.
“He’s like, ‘You gotta watch this Poole guy,’” Myers told The Athletic regarding his conversation with Dunleavy Jr.
Even after Poole's struggles in his rookie season for the Warriors, Myers told The Athletic why he remained optimistic about the young guard's outlook.
“I think what kept me as a fan was his work ethic,” Myers told The Athletic. “When you talk to college coaches and you see these intel reports, it’s always, ‘Last guy in the gym, and first guy there.’ And, ‘Great kid, one of the best I’ve ever coached.’ There’s so much of that hyperbole around players that you really kind of gloss over. You don’t know until you know. And I think with Jordan — he’s the one. He does have a desire to work that’s his own. I wish we could say we did that. But you’ve got to have that desire. And we found that he did.”
That work ethic has begun paying dividends for Poole in his third NBA season. The 22-year-old is the Warriors' third-leading scorer and even with Klay Thompson's return expected to relegate him to a bench role, Poole is vital to the offense's success on a nightly basis.
In the Warriors' win over the Miami Heat on Monday, Steph Curry was just 3-of-17 from the field and finished with a measly nine points. It was Poole who poured in 32 points and dished out five assists off the bench to secure a victory over one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Thompson will start once he returns, which reportedly could be in Sunday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Chase Center. That being said, how much he will be able to play right away after two-plus years away remains to be seen.
Poole still should see major minutes, especially in the first handful of games after Klay is back in the lineup.
Thanks in part to Dunleavy Jr.'s guidance, the Warriors might have found their microwave sixth man of the future.