February was a great month for Warriors‘ Jonathan Kuminga. After only getting inconsistent minutes through the first part of the season, Kuminga was given a role where he could excel at. Anyone that watches basketball can see the glimpses of dominance from the rookie, but is still incredibly raw.
His ability to play through opponents to get to the rim is rare for someone who is just 19 years old. Warriors’ general manager Bob Myers was on 95.7 The Game’s Morning Roast Tuesday morning and praised Kuminga’s ability to draw contact.
“For a rookie to get to the line as much as he does, it’s almost a testament to how good he can be. His free throw rate is off the charts, in any position. He is not even getting the benefit of the doubt as a rookie.”
Per 36 minutes, the seventh overall pick averages about 6.2 free throw attempts—ranked 12th overall in the NBA. That’s right, the talented rookie barely has 45 career games under his belt, and already is top-15 in the entire league at drawing contact.
However, Kuminga only knows how to play north and south. Without much side-to-side action, the likelihood of being called for offensive fouls increases dramatically.
After registering nine consecutive games of double-digit points, Kuminga scored nine points and had four turnovers against Dallas. Playing only 19 minutes, he finished the night with five personal fouls. Foul trouble severely limited his impact on the game, and he was clearly frustrated.
“We were walking back to the locker room at halftime,” Myers recalls during the game against Dallas. “I walked back to the tunnel, he happened to be right next to me, and I grabbed him and said ‘Listen, you’re not going to get these calls’ and he’s shaking his head, ‘I didn’t even—’ saying he didn’t do anything. I said, ‘It doesn’t matter, you’re not going to get these calls. But there will be a time in your career, where you are going to get calls you shouldn’t get, it all evens out.’”
Fair or not, rookies tend to never get favorable calls from referees. Myers predicts that the rookie will eventually become a star, and then he will start getting calls that only stars do. For now, Kuminga needs to continue to develop his game so he can get to that level.
Bob Myers Provides Update to Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson misses his second straight game against Minnesota with an illness that was never publicly disclosed.
“He’s probably going to meet the team in Dallas—is the plan, and play in that game on Thursday,” Myers tells The Morning Roast. “Klay more than anybody wants to play.”
Thompson return to the lineup will likely move Gary Payton II back to the bench. The team desperately needs more offense next to Steph Curry, and hopefully Thompson can do just that.
Thompson is averaging 17.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 3 assists, while shooting 38.5% from downtown in 17 games. Thompson and Draymond Green have yet to play together in a game since the 2019 NBA Finals.