Warriors Lottery Pick Labeled ‘Dream Trade Target’ for Hornets

Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors.

As the Golden State Warriors fight for the playoff lives against the Los Angeles Lakers, several other teams around the league are plotting their upcoming moves to improve their roster.

In the spirit of the upcoming offseason, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley listed a “dream trade target” for each team. He listed Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga as the top choice for the Charlotte Hornets.

“The Hornets need building blocks, but they also need keepers who won’t cost an arm, leg and torso to get. There is a non-zero chance Jonathan Kuminga, the No. 7 pick in 2021, could qualify as such. The Golden State Warriors wouldn’t let him go for cheap, but they might be amenable to a deal after watching him fail to crack the playoff rotation. If the Hornets can get Kuminga for less than a premium price, they should. The 20-year-old has elite physical tools and has shown high-end flashes on both ends of the court. He needs a situation with more developmental minutes available than there are in Golden State, and Charlotte could give him all the floor time he needs to climb toward his towering two-way ceiling.”

Would a Warriors-Hornets Jonathan Kuminga Trade Make Sense?

Kuminga’s name isn’t one that’s been in a ton of rumors this season. For a lot of the year, it seemed as if he was a key rotation piece for the Dubs. The 20-year-old played about 20.8 minutes per game in the regular season, averaging 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists each time.

However, his minutes have plummeted in the playoffs so far. He’s only seeing about 8.6 per game, and has only appeared in two of the four games against the Lakers this round.

His lack of postseason playing-time could open the door for the Warriors to move on from him, especially if they get eliminated this early. It wouldn’t be outrageous to deal him for a proven veteran or two in order to strengthen the roster if they want to go all-in with their championship core. The problem is that the Hornets don’t really have anyone that fits that bill.

Warriors’ Steve Kerr Urges Jonathan Kuminga to Stay Ready

Again Kuminga hasn’t seen much time in the Lakers series. He was benched altogether in Game 1, prompting the media to question Steve Kerr on his decision.

Kerr shifted attention to veteran big JaMychal Green, who had just gotten his first real run of the playoffs.

“The playoffs are tough in that regard,” Kerr said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “JaMychal just got through basically not playing six of the seven games against Sacramento because it just wasn’t an ideal matchup. The opponent changes, you see the opportunity for JaMychal to play in a game last night. He stays ready. He comes out, knocks down a couple of jumpers. That’s what the playoffs are about. Every game is different, every series is different.”

He added that every player should take advantage of opportunities like Green did, sending the simple message, “stay ready.”

“It’s on every player,” Kerr said. “I tell all our guys to stay ready for whatever opportunity comes your way. Injuries happen, matchups change, but it’s not an easy job to all of a sudden get out there and play after sitting for a week or two. It’s all part of it.”

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