Wiggins refutes idea Poole disrupted Warriors’ chemistry

Wiggins refutes idea Poole disrupted Warriors’ chemistry originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Warriors’ 2022-23 NBA season was a roller coaster ride bookended by frustration and sloppy play on the court.

A preseason altercation involving Warriors forward Draymond Green and young guard Jordan Poole set the tone for the entire season and Golden State was unable to buck the tension that caused a rift between two of the team’s key players.

In speaking to reporters after Warriors training camp practice on Wednesday, veteran forward Andrew Wiggins refuted the notion that Poole played a role in the team’s lack of chemistry and believes his midseason absence due to a personal reason negatively impacted the team.

“I don’t think it was Jordan’s fault for the lack of the team being connected, I feel like it was a bunch of things,” Wiggins said. “And I wasn’t there for a long time and I like to think I’m one of the key parts to the team defensively, offensively, helping the team out in every way I can. Hopefully this year everyone can stay healthy, everyone can stay healthy and we can have a hell of a year.”

Poole averaged a career-high 20.4 points per game last season and was the Warriors’ third-leading scorer behind Steph Curry (29.4) and Klay Thompson (21.9). However, his field goal and 3-point shooting percentages dipped slightly and his turnovers per game increased from 2.5 to 3.1

The 23-year-old then struggled mightily in the playoffs, averaging 12.0 and 8.3 points per game against the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively, in the first-round and semifinal-round series.

Poole then was traded to the Washington Wizards in a blockbuster deal for veteran Chris Paul, ending his four-year tenure with the Warriors and any hope of repairing his relationship with Green.

The Warriors head into the 2023-24 season with a renewed focus on recapturing the team chemistry that helped them win four NBA championships over a nine-year span.

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