The Golden State Warriors failed to defend their NBA title in the 2023 playoffs, defeating LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. There were many reasons why the team didn’t dominate as we were used to, but one story stood out from the rest.
The Warriors believe that Poole and Green can coexist
The Warriors are operating under the assumption that both Draymond Green and Jordan Poole can be back on the same roster and aim for the same championship goal next season without a problem, per @AnthonyVslater pic.twitter.com/gDm8vzekEc
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) June 12, 2023
While Golden State was preparing for the season training at training camp, an incident occurred between two of its most important players. There was some unfamiliar verbal altercation after which Draymond Green approached Jordan Poole on the baseline and the sucker punched him to the ground.
First, reports of the incident surfaced, and then a video was released. It was ugly and something veteran championship teams don’t usually do. But the excitement for the top players and the incident caused a rift from which the team apparently never recovered.
The Warriors signed Poole for an expensive deal contract extension during the final off-seasonmaking him an important part of both the present and future of the band. And while he performed well enough in the regular season, Poole disappeared when his teammates needed him most.
Poole’s contract would be difficult to transfer
Jordan Poole’s Draymond Green strike left a scar in the locker room that has not healed and perhaps never will.
— Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) June 12, 2023
He fought for ffirst round series with the Kings, averaging 12 points on 25.7% three-point shooting. Things didn’t go better against the Lakers, with Poole averaging just 5.8 points on 5.9% shooting after his 21-point game in Game 1. Not a good sign for a player expected to earn $32 million a year over the next four years.
So what will the Warriors do? Will they get rid of Green, who spent many years with the franchise and was a huge key to their mastery? Or are they doing everything they can to push Poole’s contract and sacrifice some of the future to keep the original three together for one more shot at the championship?
According to report by Andy Slater of The AthleticThe Warriors act as if Poole and Green could co-exist on the same team in the future, and that’s how they will approach the off-season.
Is this the most optimal move? After downplaying the preseason incident all year, Golden State’s players and coach alluded to the fact that Green’s hit ultimately affected team morale and even caused a division between the veterans and some of the team’s younger players.
The Warriors and their situation will be worth watching closely this summer.