With three Wolverines hoping to hear their name called in Thursday’s NBA Draft, it was sophomore Jordan Poole that received the ultimate birthday present. On the same day the Milwaukee native celebrated his 20th birthday, he was drafted to one of the NBA’s most successful dynasties over the last few years, going to the Golden State Warriors.
“Being able to work so hard for this particular moment, I had so much support from the coaching staff and my family.” Poole told ESPN’s Maria Taylor after posing on stage with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Poole brings raw shooting ability that NBA teams crave, and a talent that can be developed alongside some of the biggest stars in the league like Stephen Curry as well as Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant if Golden State re-signs the pair of former champions.
In his first full season as a starter in Ann Arbor, Poole averaged 12.8 points per game, three rebounds per game and 2.2 assists per game. He hit 37 percent of his shots from three-point land. Poole did lack consistency from time to time but being drafted to the Warriors gives him a luxury to develop slowly with Quinn Cook being the presumed starter with Thompson out injured.
Despite some uncertainty about his draft stock over the past two months, Poole landed in an ideal situation with one of the league’s Cadillac franchises. The onus is now on him to try and seize an opportunity to continue his legacy that began when he hit that shot against Houston in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
With Poole joining the Warriors, Taylor asked him if he would be a “Splash Nephew” playing off the “Splash Brothers” moniker adopted by Curry and Thompson during the Warriors run of three NBA championships in five seasons.
“Something like that,” replied Poole with a grin. “I’m splash something, might have to bring the drip to the league!”
With Poole going in the first round, a Michigan player has been selected in the first round of the NBA Draft for the fourth year in a row (2018 - Wagner, 2017 Wilson, 2016 LeVert) and for the eighth time in seven years (Stauskas and McGary - 2014, Burke and Hardaway Jr. - 2013.)