SAN FRANCISCO — Amid champagne showers that flooded Golden State’s locker room in the TD Garden, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins hopped on Instagram Live to share the celebration with their followers.
In the live stream, Poole looked at Wiggins and proclaimed, “You’re going to have a bag.”
An uncontrollable smile spread across Wiggins’ face before he replied, “No, we’ll get a bag.” Poole repeated the same words on camera.
Wiggins, who is in the final year of his $147 million rookie extension from 2017 with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Poole, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, are both up for an extension contract before becoming free agents the next offseason. They have until October 17 to negotiate a new contract with the Warriors.
“I would love to stay here,” Wiggins said Saturday afternoon in Warriors exit talks. “Being here is top notch. The way they treat the players… we’re all one big family. I feel like a lot of places say that, but they show it through their actions.”
Wiggins arrived at Golden State in a trade that stemmed from the departure of Kevin Durant in 2019. At first, there were questions about how effective that trade would be.
Wiggins was leaving the Timberwolves with a reputation suggesting he was lazy. Many didn’t think he was a hard worker or would be able to make a real impact on the Warriors – especially not one that would help them win a title.
But at the end of the year, the message from inside the Warriors was that they wouldn’t have won without Wiggins. And he became the first player to earn his first All-Star nomination and win his first title with the team he didn’t debut with.
“There’s been a lot of talk, people have something to say about every little thing, but now I’m happy to have made it here,” Wiggins said. “People didn’t think I could ever be in this position or even be useful in a championship team. But I’m proving the doubters wrong and I’m going to carry on.”
Like Wiggins, there were many doubts about Poole’s future. After his rookie year in 2020, we wondered if he would even have a future in the league. But this season, he not only filled the starting shooting guard spot as Kay Thompson returned, but he also started in place of Stephen Curry during the final month of the regular season – and the first games of the playoffs. – before he created his own role as the sixth man.
“He definitely deserves [a new contract]”, said Wiggins. “Jordan is someone who works so hard, who makes his teammates better and who can go out on the court and dominate.
Poole wasn’t as definitive as Wiggins when asked if he’d like to return to Golden State, but it wasn’t like he was looking forward to going anywhere else.
“If I’m going to be completely honest, I haven’t even been able to figure out anything about this process yet,” Poole said. “I was so locked in the Championship. Like, we know it’s going to happen, we put ourselves in situations to be successful and everything else will take care of itself.”
While signing Wiggins and Poole to contract extensions would be a move to keep them from becoming free agents next summer, the Warriors have a number of free agents this offseason.
Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Damion Lee and Chris Chiozza will all be unrestricted free agents. Only Juan Toscano-Anderson and Quinndary Weatherspoon will be restricted free agents.
Of the many upcoming free agents who have been made available for exit interviews, all have expressed a desire to stay at Golden State.
Payton, who became a key player for the Warriors after finishing 15th at the start of the season, said he would “absolutely” like to stay with the Warriors.
A journeyman who has spent most of his career in the G League and been kicked out of five different teams, Payton said he expects this summer to be the first time he can choose where he stands. will find.
After Looney’s breakout season that saw him play in every regular season and playoff game, he said he “definitely” wants to return to the team that drafted him.
“I always want to be back here,” Looney said. “I want to come back and try to defend what we just won and be part of something special again.”
Porter signed a one-year contract with the Warriors to bring a veteran presence to the team. When he joined last summer, Porter saw winning a title as a possible outcome, and now that it’s happened he’s also expressed a desire to come back for more.
“I know now that this team can compete for another championship again and it would be a great opportunity if I could stay here,” Porter said. “It would be amazing to be here with this group of guys again and do it again.”
Whether or not the Warriors can retain all of those players remains to be seen. They are already the biggest spenders in the league.
But, there is a mutual desire between the front office and the players to have such a similar roster from this year’s league before next season.
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