Good Morning Dub Nation,
Despite rumored interest around the league, Jonathan Kuminga still projects to be a key building block of the Golden State Warriors’ future. In a recent interview with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr detailed what Kuminga must do to earn more playing time next season and become that core piece of the future.
“The minutes are there for him (Jonathan Kuminga) to take at the backup four next year,” Kerr said. “He’s gotta make strides, and he and I talked about it. The No. 1 thing is he’s gotta rebound. If he rebounds and he runs the floor, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for him.
Many were puzzled by the way Kerr handled Kuminga’s playing time this past year. Although he flashed improvement in multiple games, he still saw his playing time drastically decrease from 20.8 minutes per game in the regular season to 6.1 minutes per game in the postseason, as other members of the team — namely Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II — returned to their spots in the rotation.
Some have argued that Kerr could have found more minutes for Kuminga by having him play a wing role due to his excellent perimeter defense. However, Kerr makes it clear that Kuminga is strictly a power forward because of his limitations on the offensive side of the ball.
“No, no, no, I don’t think of him as a three,” Kerr said. “He’s a four. For him to take the next step, he needs to be able to play the three as an offensive player. He can play the three defensively; he can guard, really, one through four. But offensively, to play the three you’ve got to be really skilled in this league today, you’ve gotta see the floor, you’ve gotta be able to make plays. And right now, I think he’s much more of a four than he is a three on the offensive end.”
This will be a big summer for both the Warriors and Kuminga. The team is looking to revamp their roster back to championship form, while the former seventh-overall pick is reportedly asking for a much bigger role either with Golden State or on another team. The two can definitely coexist, but Kuminga will need to address his weaknesses over the offseason — something Kerr says will be the key to unlocking his bright future ahead.
“But he’s entering his third year next year, he’s 20 years old, got a great future ahead. He’s just gotta keep on the same path he’s on. But he’s gotta make those strides, like I said, on the glass and running the floor, diving in pick-and-roll. If he does those things, he’s going to play more, and that’s how you continue to grow and build your game.”
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Postmortem mailbag, Part 1
- Kevon Looney reveals secret to rebounding success and favorite Warriors’ memory
- Steph Curry wins the PBWA Citizenship Award
- Jonathan Kuminga drawing ‘strong level of interest’ from league executives
- Report: Warriors and Bob Myers have little traction in contract talks
Other Warriors News:
- Kawakami: Steve Kerr on Jonathan Kuminga’s future, Steph Curry’s Game 7 speech and other Warriors issues (The Athletic)
- Warriors’ Andre Iguodala coy about retirement after saying 2022-23 was ‘last one’ (SF Gate)
- NBA rumors: Bob Myers won’t take another league job if he leaves Warriors (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Draymond Green distraught by Bob Myers potentially leaving Warriors (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- UConn draft prospect Jordan Hawkins mentions Klay Thompson as a player he models his game after (Yahoo Sports)
- NBA considering change to All-Star Game format: Sources (The Athletic)
- NBA Insiders Dish On Kyrie Irving’s Mavs Future, Plus Potential Star Trade (Bleacher Report)
- How Calvin Booth transitioned from NBA journeyman to Nuggets general manager (Yahoo Sports)
- Jamal Murray’s Versatile Scoring Is Causing Major Problems For The Lakers (Dime)
- Why is Jimmy Butler so good in the playoffs? (Thinking Basketball)