Warriors

Warriors player profile: Jordan Poole can compete for minutes as rookie

Warriors player profile: Jordan Poole can compete for minutes as rookie

Editor's note: The Warriors' roster looks completely different than it did at this time last year. Golden State enters a new era at Chase Center with an injured Klay Thompson and without dynasty mainstays Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. As the Warriors' offseason goes on, we'll do a profile on every player on the revamped roster. Our series starts with first-round pick Jordan Poole. 

The Warriors showed faith in Jordan Poole last month, drafting him No. 28 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. 

Poole has all the tools to be a rotation player, but the same question that followed him throughout his college career remains: Can he put it all together?

Here's everything you need to know about the Michigan product as he enters his rookie season with Golden State.

Contract

2 years / $4,028,040 (with options for the 2021-22, 2022-23 seasons). 

Last season

Poole averaged 12.8 points per game during his sophomore season at Michigan. The 20-year old displayed an effective scoring ability, finishing with 15 or more points in 16 games, including a 26-point performance in a win over South Carolina. Additionally, he shot 37 percent from 3-point range, averaging two 3-pointers per game. 

Still, some observers were surprised when Poole declared for the 2019 NBA Draft and curious when the projected second-rounder was selected with the 28th pick. While the guard showed promise as a scorer, his defense lagged, often getting caught on screens and surrendering backdoor passes. 

Outlook

With Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Kevin Durant gone, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will prioritize a youth movement to help offset the mileage of Draymond Green, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. This opens the door for Poole to get a big opportunity in the rotation. 

In Las Vegas Summer League, Poole showed promise towards that goal, averaging 17.8 points, including a 12-point performance against Denver, helping Golden State overcome a 17-point deficit to beat the Nuggets 73-69 in their final preliminary round game.

[RELATED: Warriors one of world's 10 most valuable teams, per Forbes]

Poole also showed an ability to make plays, throwing a variety of behind-the-back passes, often getting teammates involved in the offense. If Poole can continue his upward offensive trajectory, he can compete for minutes on the floor.

Warriors' Kevon Looney, Alen Smailagic cleared for on-court workouts

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USATSI

Warriors' Kevon Looney, Alen Smailagic cleared for on-court workouts

MEMPHIS -- After injuries ravaged the Warriors' roster during the first month of the season, the team got a bit of good news Tuesday. 

Big men Kevon Looney and Alen Smailagic have been cleared for accelerated on-court workouts, while guard Jacob Evans will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

As the Warriors continue their four-game road trip, Looney and Smailagic are expected to participate in practices with the Warriors' G League team in Santa Cruz.

While nothing is set in stone, Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn't rule Looney out of next Monday's game against Oklahoma City.

The injuries updates come as the Warriors are in peril. In the last month,  Stephen Curry broke his hand, sidelining him until at least February, while two-way guard Damion Jones fractured his hand last week. In Tuesday's injury report, seven Warriors were listed as 'out,' including guard Klay Thompson. 

Looney, who was dealing with a neuropathic issue in his hamstring, carries the most importance. In the past two seasons, the multifaceted defender helped Golden State reach the NBA Finals. In his absence, the Warriors are giving up more than 120 points per game.

[RELATED: Bowman must adapt when Warriors are healthy]

Meanwhile, Evans was showing signs of progress following a tough rookie season, shooting 50 percent from the 3-point range before a left adductor sidelined him on Oct. 28. 

As for Smailagic, the rookie was expected to contribute right away with the Warriors undermanned frontline before spraining his ankle in a training camp scrimmage. In the last week, Kerr said the 19-year old told his coach he dunked during practice, showing his recent progress.

Warriors vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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Warriors vs. Grizzlies watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

In a battle featuring two teams in different stages of rebuilding, the foundering Warriors face the suddenly resurgent Grizzlies on Tuesday at FedEx Forum in Memphis.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 5:10.

The Warriors (2-12) own the longest losing streak in the NBA this season, seven games, dating back to Nov. 6. It’s their longest string of defeats since April 2012, when they lost eight in a row.

Though the Warriors have not lost a season series to Memphis since 2012-13 (0-3), they have lost at least once at FedEx Forum in 11 consecutive seasons, including each of the last three.

The Grizzlies (5-8), early in a full rebuild, opened the season losing five of their first six games under first-year coach Taylor Jenkins. They are showing signs of improvement, though, going 4-3 since then. They have won three of their last four.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F  Eric Paschall
F  Draymond Green
C  Willie Cauley-Stein
G  Glenn Robinson III
G  Ky Bowman

Grizzlies

F  Jae Crowder
F  Jaren Jackson Jr.
C  Jonas Valanciunas
G  Dillon Brooks
G  Ja Morant

 

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), G Damion Lee (right hand non-displaced fracture), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out.

Grizzlies: G Grayson Allen (left ankle soreness) is listed as out. F Andre Iguodala is not with the team.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Whether Warriors coach Steve Kerr stays with the unusual lineup that started Sunday in New Orleans (with Green starting at PG) remains to be seen. The slow start in that game (down 10-2 after three minutes, trailing by as much as 14 in the first half) could force a more conventional approach ... Undrafted rookie PG, who had 19 points and four assists in 28 minutes off the bench, made a strong case for starting, particularly with fellow rookie Morant at the point for Memphis ... Though rookie SG Jordan Poole remains mired in a shooting slump, the Warriors are encouraged that it has not affected his defense. The effort is there on that end, and the belief is his shots could start falling any day now ... Today’s player availability count: Nine.

Grizzlies: Though the team is built around Morant, the overall No. 2 pick in the June draft, rookie SF Brandon Clarke (No. 21 overall) has been terrific off the bench, averaging 12.3 ppg and 21.9 mpg ... The Grizzlies lead the league in paint points, averaging 55.0 per game, and Valanciunas is a big reason for that. He has scored in double figures in 12 consecutive games. Only two teams are more forgiving in the paint than the Warriors, whose opponents average 51.9 per game .. Picking up on the ball movement trend, the Grizzlies averaged 29.4 assists over their last seven games ... They also have made at least 10 triples in each of those seven consecutive games, matching a franchise record.

Officials: Kevin Scott (crew chief), Marat Kogut, Natalie Sago.