Warriors: Grading 2019 NBA Draft class’ rookie seasons

Warriors, Eric Paschall (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Warriors, Eric Paschall (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

1. Jordan Poole — C+

The Warriors selected Jordan Poole out of the University of Michigan with the 28th overall pick in last year’s draft. Though teams do not normally expect to pick starting-caliber players at that stage, the 20-year-old showed an all-around skill set.

The 2019-2020 season was an up-and-down year for the Poole, but he started to find his groove just before the NBA went on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The struggles Poole went through are to be expected of a young player, but the shooting guard continued to show confidence in his game. This was perhaps the most encouraging sign from Poole’s rookie season.

In college, the 6-foot-4 guard was known for his shooting ability. However, that was the area where he struggled the most as he adapted to the NBA landscape.

Across 57 games, the shooting guard shot just 33 percent from the field, including a meager 28 percent from beyond the arc. On the year, Poole posted 8.8 PPG, 2.1 RPG, and 2.4 APG while being worth -1.2 win shares.

Though, with Poole, confidence and patience began to pay dividends down the stretch.

In the final 15 games of his rookie season, the 20-year-old posted 12.7 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 3.7 APG while shooting 47 percent from the field, including 32 percent from behind the three-point line.

This 15-game sample is enough to get excited about Poole’s future. He found his shooting stroke and the type of consistency that eluded him earlier in the year.

Still, the 32 percent clip from beyond the arc leaves a bit to be desired. As his game continues to evolve, the Warriors will need to see more improvement in his scoring efficiency.

Down the stretch, Poole’s improved field goal percentage was encouraging as well as his ability to distribute the ball.

With all this being said, the season, in its totality, was a struggle for Poole. Sometimes, adversity is the best thing for a young player’s development, and the Michigan product’s confidence never wavered.

There is an obvious need for depth on the second unit and Poole should slot into that role next season. In particular, the shooting guard brings a high volume scoring threat that the bench really has not consistently had since Leandro Barbosa and Maureese Speights last wore Warriors uniforms.

Despite his early-season struggles, the young shooting guard ended the season on a positive note.