Jordan Poole no longer is on the Warriors, but his former teammates have high expectations for the rising young guard next season.
Veteran forward Andre Iguodala, who mentored Poole during the 24-year-old's four-year Warriors career, believes despite what people might think, Poole had a solid 2022-23 season with Golden State. And Iguodala is sure Poole will top that performance in his first season with the Washington Wizards.
"He averaged 20 last year, on a bad year. He's going to get to the line. He's the only one who got to the line for us last year consistently," Iguodala said on the "Gil's Arena" podcast. "People act like he had a bad year. I'm like, 'OK, a bad year? Y'all blamed him for the year we had last year and he averaged 20.' [He will average] 25-plus, easy. He's going to get to the line.
"And then at home, you have to give him the whistle at home, he's going to average 30 at home. And it's Chocolate City, so you know who's going to be in the stands, they got all the memes. Every time he sees a bad chick, he's going for 40."
Another ex-teammate, Golden State sharpshooter Klay Thompson, sees All-Star potential for Poole.
But it takes more than talent to be successful in the NBA, and Iguodala isn't one to sugarcoat anything. He understood that it was difficult for Poole to shine on a team that consisted of Steph Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. So when Poole was shipped to Washington D.C. in a blockbuster trade that brought future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul to the Bay, Iguodala kept it real with the young guard.
Golden State Warriors
The four-time champion told Poole that he had to grow up now that he had his "own team," and that being the face of a franchise comes with a lot of responsibility. In Golden State, it wasn't something he necessarily had to worry about, but with the Wizards, it's a whole different story.
Iguodala, who still regularly keeps in contact with Poole, said he already has noticed a difference, though.
"He's already starting to make the right strides," Iguodala said. "I've heard about what he's been doing with his teammates. The other day, I was asking him about his teammates, and he knew everything about every one of them. And I'm like 'OK, now we starting off on the right path.'
"He brought them all out to LA. He did! He's leading."
Iguodala was one of the Warriors leaders for a reason; players and coaches have a ton of respect for him. And even though they no longer are on the same coast, Iguodala will continue to advise Poole from afar. And if Poole keeps listening, great things could be in store for him.