'I made the right decision': UM's Jordan Poole taken by Warriors with No. 28 pick

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, left, poses for photographs with Michigan's Jordan Poole after the Golden State Warriors selected him as the 28th pick overall Thursday.

Jordan Poole bet on himself when he left Michigan after his sophomore season.

On Thursday night, Poole reaped the reward of his gamble when he was selected by the Golden State Warriors with the No. 28 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Poole, who was projected to go anywhere from middle of the second round to undrafted, became the 10th John Beilein-coached Wolverine to be selected in the draft since 2011 and eighth first-round pick since 2013.

It also marked the fourth straight draft a Michigan player was taken in the first round following Caris LeVert (2016), D.J. Wilson (2017) and Moritz Wagner (2018).

More: Detroit News 2019 NBA Draft grades

"Just being able to work so hard for this particular moment, this opportunity in my life, I have so much support through the coaching staff and my family," said Poole, who attended the draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and sat in the stands.

"I just felt like being in this situation, I made the right decision."

Poole was one of three Wolverines who declared for this year's draft, along with Ignas Brazdeikis and Charles Matthews. Brazdeikis was selected in the second round by the New York Knicks with the No. 47 pick and Matthews, who tore his ACL two weeks ago, went undrafted.

Poole was viewed as the best prospect of the trio due to his enticing offensive skill set as a shot-maker, shot-creator and floor spacer.

In his first year as a full-time starter, he averaged 12.8 points, three rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from 3-point range. He led Michigan with 75 made 3-pointers and had 12 games where he made at least three 3s. 

While Poole faced questions about his decision-making and inconsistency at times, the 6-foot-5 guard still remained an intriguing prospect even though he was viewed as someone who might need to spend time maturing and developing his guard skills in the G-League.

But given the serious injuries Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant suffered in the NBA Finals, as well as Durant's uncertain future with the Warriors, Poole enters a situation where he'll have a chance to make an immediate impact as the newest "Splash Brother" — or "Splash Nephew."

"I'm definitely a little young, but I'm 'splash something' for sure," said Poole, who turned 20 on Wednesday. "I'm going to have to bring that drip to the league."

Earlier this week, ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas called Poole "one of the better shooters in this year’s draft."

Golden State GM Bob Myers had a similar view of Poole, who he hopes can step in and become a much-needed scoring option for the injury-plagued Warriors.

"We liked his playmaking. We liked his shot-making, his versatility, plays multiple positions," Myers told reporters. "He's a confident player. Some upside there too, with just two years in college."

Last year's No. 28 overall pick, Golden State's Jacob Evans, signed a two-year deal worth a guaranteed $3.57 million. According to Spotrac, Poole will at least receive a guaranteed two-year deal worth a projected $4 million.

"The Warriors are an amazing team. One of their strengths is their ability to shoot the 3," Poole said. "I feel like that's something that's changed the game. Being able to shoot the 3 is a strength of mine. Finding a way to come in and make an impact and being able just to learn from the guys is something that I'm definitely extremely excited for."


Twitter: @jamesbhawkins