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Coming off a breakout season in 2021-22, Jordan Poole’s stock has skyrocketed and complicated his long-term future with the Golden State Warriors.
Per Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, one Eastern Conference team could emerge as a favorite to sign Poole next summer if he becomes a restricted free agent.
“I’d watch out for the Magic to be ready to make an offer if he’s restricted, knowing there’s a good chance Golden State is not going to match,” one Eastern Conference executive told Deveney.
Poole is eligible to sign an extension with the Warriors this summer, but there’s no indication at this point that the two sides are talking.
Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reported June 20 that Golden State’s offer to Poole would likely need to start in the range of $100 million over four years.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers told Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill on June 2 that the team has been able to pay all of its key players during this run of success, “so I don’t see that changing.”
Much has been made about Golden State’s willingness and ability to pay the luxury tax to keep its championship core together. The team currently has a luxury-tax bill of $158.7 million, on top of a $187.7 million payroll.
The team did cut its tax bill by nearly $53 million earlier this offseason by not bringing back Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II.
In addition to Poole’s looming restricted free agency, the Warriors also have to keep an eye on Andrew Wiggins’ status. The 27-year-old is entering the final season of his current deal and can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Poole does have the benefit of being four years younger than Wiggins, so there could be more upside in his game as he enters his prime.
The Magic would certainly make sense as a potential landing spot for Poole. They are building around a young core of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Mo Bamba and Jalen Suggs.
Adding Poole’s scoring ability to that group could give Orlando one of the best collections of young talent in the NBA. The Michigan alum averaged 18.5 points per game and connected on 36.4 percent of his three-point attempts in 76 games last season.
Orlando has only had one winning season since 2012-13 (42-40 in 2018-19) and has just two playoff appearances during that span. The team hasn’t won a postseason series since losing in the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals.