If every NBA player were awarded a mulligan season in their career, this would be the one Jordan Poole would choose to erase and make sure no one ever spoke of again. Entering the 2023-24 campaign, Poole’s first in Washington, there were high hopes of what could be alongside Kyle Kuzma. We’re just about two-thirds through this season and Washington has nine wins. It’s been such a disappointing few months for Poole with the Wizards that if there was an award for Most Exposed Player, he’d already have it in the bag.
For the mere fact that Poole’s been so far out of his own bag all season, he gets this award hands down. All he’s done in Washington is expose the fact that what he did with Golden State was seemingly an anomaly. It shows that most NBA players are capable of looking like stars when surrounded by Hall of Famers. Kind of like Doc Rivers in Boston, benefitting from a wealth of Hall of Fame talent. We see what his teams have done since the 2007-08 Celtics.
Similar to many of Rivers’ teams over the years (mainly in the playoffs), Poole has been downright embarrassing as a Wizard. Everyone felt Washington would lose a lot of games, but that Poole would flourish being the No. 1 option as he aspired to be with the Warriors. That was never going to happen with Steph Curry in the building. At best Poole would’ve been No. 2, but that wasn’t good enough.
After tasting that sweet nectar of winning a title, and receiving a nice contract extension, Poole wanted more. Mr. Poole Party felt he deserved his own team to lead, and he got it. He’s led the Wizards into the gutter of the Eastern Conference. The only NBA franchise with a worse record is the Detroit Pistons and at least they’ve got the excuse of being a super young team.
The Wizards just don’t play smart or execute with any efficiency. Poole was supposed to make things better, but all he’s done is make them worse. His numbers are pretty much down across the board in the most relevant offensive statistical categories. And that’s really sad when considering that all Poole brought to the table was scoring. If he’s not giving his team 20+ per night, then it’s hard to have him on the floor and expect to win.
On Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, Poole scored three points in 27 minutes on the floor. He made one three-pointer and shot 1-for-12 from the field overall. In his previous five games, Poole had two back-to-back, where he scored four points or fewer (he posted a goose egg in one).
Talk of Washington trading Poole had begun before we even entered 2024. The organization experienced buyer’s remorse barely a month into his tenure. That’s beyond bad, it’s a damn shame. A player who was thought to have so much upside looks like the worst pickup for any team last offseason.
No one expected the Wizards to turn around and make a playoff run on the back of Poole in Year 1. But at least we thought they’d be competitive and possibly challenge for a play-in tournament berth. Instead, they’ll have one of the top picks in this year’s draft and Poole will likely be moving on down the road. So, when it comes to the most exposed players on the court, Poole would win that award by a mile.
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