Jordan Poole

Klay shares honest reaction to Warriors trading ‘lil bro' JP

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Klay Thompson witnessed Jordan Poole's evolution from a struggling rookie to an up-and-coming young NBA star.

The former Warriors teammates spent four seasons together in the Bay before Golden State traded Poole to the Washington Wizards last month in exchange for future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul. While Thompson is excited to take the court with Paul, he admitted it was tough to see Poole leave.

"To be able to play with someone like Chris is an honor, but obviously, it hurts to see Jordan go," Thompson said on a recent "Podcast P with Paul George" episode. "That's the nature of the beast that is this business. JP was homegrown, I saw him put the work in, I saw him go 2-for-15 in a game but then he would be in the dungeon, which we call our practice facility because there's no windows, getting shots up right after the game and that reminded me of my younger self. I would have a terrible shooting night in Oakland at Oracle, I would drive to the practice facility in downtown Oakland, I would do the same thing my second year.

"To see JP follow that same footing, I'm like, 'Man, this kid's going to be special.' And we wouldn't have won the [2022] championship without him. He was so important to us when Steph [Curry] went down and we played that series against Denver. So Jordan is forever going to be cherished in the Warriors' lore just for what he did. And I know he's going to do great things in Washington. And it felt good seeing him last week. It was weird seeing him in some Wizards gear, but that's like Steph and I's little bro. He's going to flourish out there, I'm happy for him."

In acquiring Paul, the Warriors sent Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Ryan Rollins and future draft picks to Washington D.C.

Poole's NBA career start didn't go as he or the Warriors expected. But the young guard stayed determined and managed to turn things around, as Thompson stated, contributing to Golden State winning its fourth title in eight seasons.

His surge was so impressive that it earned him a massive contract extension with the Warriors, but a preseason altercation with teammate Draymond Green was too much for the team to overcome. So after being tossed early in the 2023 playoffs, the Warriors decided to shake things up and go big or go home.

While the situation between Green and Poole doesn't appear to be settled, that hasn't stopped the Splash Bros from hanging out with Poole this summer. Thompson, Curry and Poole all hit the gym together last weekend in a joint offseason workout.

Thompson is confident that big things are coming for the 24-year-old.

"He's definitely got All-Star potential," Thompson said. "You saw it when he made that Finals run. He averaged 18 [points] shooting 50-40-90, that's hard to do. That's impressive. The playoffs, too. So I'm excited to see him and [Kyle Kuzma], those are going to be the swaggiest buckets ever. I'm excited for him; Washington got a good one. Future All-Star for sure."

Even though no longer teammates, it's clear that Thompson wishes nothing but the best for his former teammate and "little bro."

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