It appears Jordan Poole is enjoying his new starring role with the Washington Wizards.
Poole went off for 41 points on 10-of-19 shooting in just 27 minutes in a preseason game Wednesday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. He shot 50 percent (6 of 12) from 3-point range and went 15 of 16 from the free-throw line, also chipping in five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Poole scored 29 points in the first half and steered the Wizards to a 131-106 preseason win.
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The Warriors traded Poole to the Wizards in June as part of the blockbuster trade that brought longtime rival Chris Paul to the Bay Area. Poole, the No. 28 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, helped Golden State win the 2022 championship and signed a four-year contract extension last October.
However, Poole took a step back last season and fell out of favor in the Warriors rotation due to turnovers and inconsistent play. Now in Washington, Poole is tasked with building up the Wizards franchise from scratch, using the knowledge he learned from Warriors veterans Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Golden State Warriors
"As a basketball player, as a kid you want to grow up and be the face of the franchise," Poole said earlier this month. "It’s a really cool situation because I feel like I’ve learned, I’ve asked a lot of questions to be prepared for this moment.
Since it was a preseason game, the 41 points he scored at the Garden on Wednesday night won't go down as an official Poole Party. It wasn't his career high anyway -- that remains a 43-point outing in the Warriors' 126-110 win over the Toronto Raptors last December.
Warriors fans will get their first chance to see Poole in a Wizards jersey on Dec. 22 in a regular-season matchup at Chase Center.