AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

The Golden State Warriors and guard
Jordan Poole are reportedly expected to discuss a new contract ahead
of the Oct. 18 deadline for rookie extensions.

Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II
of The Athletic reported Wednesday that while the sides are expected to “engage” in talks, so far there “doesn’t appear to be a level
of urgency” from the Dubs’ front office.

Poole was one of the breakout stars of
the 2021-22 NBA season. He initially helped fill a starting spot while Klay Thompson recovered from injury and then played a key
reserve role as the Warriors rolled to a championship in June.

The third-year guard averaged 18.5
points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds across 76 regular-season
appearances. He shot 44.8 percent from the field, 36.4 percent on
threes and 92.5 percent from the free-throw line.

His rookie contract includes a
team-friendly $3.9 million cap hit for 2022-23 and the Warriors can
extend a qualifying offer next offseason to make him a restricted
free agent.

So there isn’t a ton of time pressure
on Golden State to offer him an extension that would likely include a
significant pay raise, especially since the team likely wants to
maintain a little financial flexibility amid speculation they could
bring back Kevin Durant.

On the flip side, Poole’s growth into a
valuable offensive weapon and potential foray into free agency next
summer mean he’s set to cash in regardless of whether the offer
comes from Golden State or another organization.

The Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and
San Antonio Spurs are among the possible suitors for an offer sheet
if he does hit the free-agent market next summer, per Slater and
Thompson.

Of course, the Warriors would have the
opportunity to match any proposal the 23-year-old University of
Michigan product receives if he’s given the qualifying offer.

So the lack of urgency ahead of the
October deadline isn’t a surprise. Poole is an important piece for
the Warriors as they attempt to bridge toward a new era in the years
ahead after long-term success led by Thompson, Stephen Curry and
Draymond Green, and he’ll eventually be paid like a franchise
cornerstone if he continues his upward trajectory.

If there’s no movement on the Durant
front over the next six weeks, perhaps the Warriors will get more
aggressive in their efforts to re-sign Poole ahead of the deadline.
They sound content to let him play out his rookie contract for now,
though.

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