The Golden State Warriors And Jordan Paul has until the eve of the NBA season to agree to an extension of the rookie’s contract. If they don’t, Poole will play the final year of his rookie deal, entering the 2023 offseason as a restricted free agent.
This is a good option for both sides. Poole can search for a cute necklace, and warriors can choose whether or not to match it. So there is no urgent need to reach an agreement.
Still, there is a reason why most players don’t approve of beginner extensions. Without that urgency, neither side would be eager to push too many of their chips and end up with a deal they regret a year later.
With the extension hanging in the air, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both the Warriors and Paul to agree to the extension in the next two weeks.
Jordan Paul Pros
Let’s start with the big thing: money. At the end of this season, Paul will have made over $10 million in his four-year career. Add taxes and agent fees, and we look somewhere along the lines of $4 million or so.
Now keep in mind, I’d like to make that kind of money (I know what you’re all thinking, and yes, that’s right: I make less than a million dollars a year on this job), but it’s not exactly a huge payday. It’s not, as the kids say, “F you money.”
It will be a bullish extension. Let’s say the Warriors begin negotiations for Anfernee Simons’ four-year, $100 million contract, while Poole’s representatives begin north of a four-year, $120 million RJ Barrett deal. Let’s say they settled on $112 million.
That’s tons of money. And while the $125 or $130 million Paul thinks he can probably make if he waits a year, signing the extension now removes all risk. What would happen if Paul tore his ACL or Achilles this season? What happens if he gets into an accident outside of court. Hell, what happens if he simply has a bad season?
Guaranteed NBA contracts. If Paul signs a four-year deal worth $112 million, he’ll get $112 million even if he’s never played another game in his life. At this price point, it’s probably worth sacrificing a few million.
There are also stresses and distractions that will be eliminated with a long-term contract. Nobody likes answering questions all year long about the agency’s free plans, or listening to speculation about what’s going to happen—just ask Kevin Durant. Paul won’t have to worry about contract year performance, he can just focus on paying it off and cashing the checks.
Looks like a good life.
Jordan Paul Cons
Paul took a huge step forward in his sophomore year. He took a huge step forward in his third year. History tells us that Paul, who turned 23 in June, will take another big step forward in his fourth year. And if that happens, he’ll get a bigger contract than he’s going to get now. Warriors will want to sign a secure contract. If Paul bets on himself, he will have the opportunity to significantly exceed the “safe” number.
There is also a chance that this will be Paul’s last year with the Warriors. Neither he nor the team wants that to be the case, but we all know the Warriors are about to make tough financial decisions. They may have to choose between Poole and Andrew Wiggins, and they may choose Wiggins. If Paul leaves without a contract, he can choose his team. If he leaves with a contract, he will have to go wherever it is traded.
Dubs has a million money parts moving over the next few years, and it pays to get as many parts as possible as soon as possible. Plus, they’re in a place where every dollar they spend is taxed. If by agreeing to a deal early on they could cut a few million from Paul’s annual salary, it could save tens of millions each year for years to come.
Extending Poole also allows Warriors to stop it from walking for free. If they decide to move in a different direction outside the next season, they can trade Poole, and at least get some assets back in return. Although it is worth noting that it is not so simple: the Warriors will have to find a team with plenty of room to take on all of Paul’s contracts, otherwise they will have to redeem the corresponding salary.
Disadvantages of warriors
Paul’s extension means the warriors are stuck in his knot. This is almost certainly a good thing, but there are risks associated with it. If Paul is injured he becomes untradable. If it’s not negotiable, they may have to break up with Wiggins, even if they don’t want to.
The Warriors willingly gave Klay Thompson a max contract knowing he was injured, then lost a second year to injury. This made sense because… well, it’s Klay Thompson. But maybe they want to avoid that with other players. Paying a player before he becomes a free agent means you take all the risk of the last year of his old contract, and put him in the new contract.
There’s also a chance that Poole’s expansion could create a critical locker room dynamic if Wiggins remains unextended, although I wouldn’t worry too much about that.
I think we’ll find out what happens soon enough.