Per a report by ESPN’s resident draft expert Jonathan Givony, the Golden State Warriors are exploring the option of trading one of their youth prospects — Jonathan Kuminga being the stated example — in order to move up in the 2023 NBA draft.
“The appetite for taking on more projects will likely be limited due to their narrow window for maximizing the prime of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and others. Sources tell ESPN the Warriors are also exploring the option of acquiring a high draft pick in exchange for a young prospect such as Jonathan Kuminga.”
It’s important to note the wording. Kuminga’s name was mentioned but wasn’t explicitly stated as the definite young prospect the Warriors would be giving up in such a scenario.
The Warriors have other youth projects they can offer, such as Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin Jr., and Moses Moody. Jordan Poole is technically part of that group but is also part of the “Foundational Six” head coach Steve Kerr has referred to as the core group responsible for their 2022 championship; as such, Poole was rewarded with a hefty four-year, $123 million contract extension that kicks in this upcoming season.
Besides Poole, Kuminga would be the juiciest piece the Warriors could offer for teams in the lottery to consider giving up their spot in the draft. Even while Kuminga had an up-and-down sophomore season — he averaged 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists on a 53/37/65 shooting split and a 60.0 TS% — he’ll only be 21 years old by the time the 2023-24 season starts and is oozing with massive potential as a two-way wing, which will make it hard for teams looking for future franchise cornerstones to look past him.
With Bob Myers’ contract expiring at the end of this month, the Warriors have also yet to fill in his position as President of Basketball Operations and General Manager. His right-hand man — Mike Dunleavy Jr. — and Kirk Lacob are leading candidates to succeed him and have also taken leadership of the pre-draft process. Both of them will have decisions to make leading to the draft.
One of them may involve giving up one of their brightest wing prospects to move up in the draft — perhaps to select someone to fill a position they’ve been lacking depth in for the past couple of seasons, such as center.