Jordan Poole's breakout Warriors season made him sixth-man option

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Poole has become viable sixth-man option after breakout year originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jordan Poole wasn't supposed to have the season he did with the Warriors. 

Even general manager Bob Myers admits it

"I was wrong. I didn't know Jordan would help us as much as he did this last year," Myers said in his end-of-season press conference Monday.

You can't hold it against Myers. Heading into the season, it would have been hard to predict that the 2019 No. 28 pick, who struggled to translate his game to the NBA level during his rookie season, would become the Warriors' backup to Steph Curry and be a viable option for their sixth man next season. 

But here we are. Poole's emergence is one of the best things to come out of the Warriors' season.

Poole averaged 21.8 points on 56.5 percent shooting over Golden State's final five games, and just as importantly, he showed that he has the confidence to not shy away from big moments or big shots. 

That was evident in the play-in tournament, as Poole hit shots down the stretch and even attempted to throw down a dunk on the king himself, LeBron James.

Having that confidence in himself has given head coach Steve Kerr that same confidence in Poole. Again, look to his crunch-time minutes in the play-in games as evidence. 

Yes, the Warriors were short-handed and didn't have many bodies to turn to. But, Kerr turned to the second-year player over Kevon Looney, Mychal Mulder, Kent Bazemore and Eric Paschall. And that should be an indication of what Poole's role will be next season.

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Ever since Andre Iguodala was traded, the Warriors have been looking for a player to come off the bench who can impact the game and keep the team afloat while starters rest. And they may have found that -- or one in the making -- in Poole. 

He can score, and while his assist numbers aren't off the chart, he has proven to be a good live-action passer. But the Warriors haven't asked him to be a primary creator, as he's usually on the court with someone else who can fulfill that role.

Poole also has been efficient, putting up 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 from three against the Los Angeles Lakers and nine points against the Memphis Grizzlies on 6-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from deep. And in those two games, Poole committed just two turnovers.

"He gets places most players can't get to," Kerr said. "He's so much more than just a shooter. He's very dynamic. If we have Klay [Thompson] healthy, it's really fun to think about Jordan and Klay in those minutes when Steph [Curry] and Draymond [Green] are off the floor. That's exciting.

"Maybe Jordan, Andrew [Wiggins] and Klay together -- three guys who can score in different ways. Now you're talking about some firepower."

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