The Golden State Warriors started the NBA Summer League with a couple of lottery picks on the floor. They will finish play in Las Vegas Tuesday with one of those prospects on the bench.
The Dubs announced the lineup for the team’s final summer league game on Aug. 17 via their official Twitter account. One noticeable absence from the starting group was Jonathan Kuminga, chosen 7th overall by the Warriors last month with their top overall selection in the NBA draft.
While the team did not specify Kuminga’s health concerns, or lack thereof, Monte Pool of NBC Sports confirmed the forward’s absence from the starting lineup for the Dubs’ final Summer League matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Next time you (see) Jonathan Kuminga on the court: October,” Poole tweeted Tuesday afternoon, referencing the start of the regular season on Oct. 19 when the Warriors will again take on the Lakers. “Hey, it’s less than 2 months.”
Kuminga Has Looked Impressive During Summer League Play
Kuminga, who played his most recent basketball with G-League Ignite, has shown thus far that he was worth the Warriors’ top draft selection and the more than $11.2 million he is guaranteed over the first two years of a four-year contract. The second two years, worth more than $13.6 million, are team options for the Warriors, per Basketball Reference.
The 18-year-old, out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has averaged 25.1 minutes per outing during Summer League. Over those minutes, he has averaged 18.1 points per game on 50% shooting from the field. He has also posted averages of 4 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game, according to NBA.com.
Kuminga garnered widespread attention and reaction following a devastating slam dunk against the Oklahoma City Thunder during a summer session held on Friday, Aug. 13.
Video of the dunk was all over social media almost immediately after it occurred, and can be watched via Twitter on the ClutchPoints account.
Kuminga Is Not Only Dubs’ Rookie Having a Stellar Summer
Kuminga’s points per game total ranks him fourth among all players in the Summer League as of Tuesday, Aug. 17. One spot ahead of him, in third place on that list, is his teammate and fellow first-round draft pick, Moses Moody.
Moody, drafted out of the University of Arkansas with the 14th overall selection, was scoring 19 points per game on 24.1 minutes played before the start of Tuesday’s final summer matchup. Moody is also averaging 7 rebounds and 2 assists per night.
The 19-year-old is notably scoring at a considerably less efficient clip than his rookie counterpart Kuminga, shooting just 38.9% from the field. Moody has, however, been effective from deep, shooting 50% from behind the 3-point line on 4 attempts per night.
Kuminga and Moody combine with big man James Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick from the 2020 NBA draft, to make for an impressive contingent of young talent in Golden State.
Questions swirled in the weeks leading up to draft night as to whether the Warriors would try to move their assets for a fourth superstar, which Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green told management they wanted.
It is still possible Golden State makes a move for a player like Bradley Beal, of the Washington Wizards, or Ben Simmons, of the Philadelphia 76ers. The quality play of the Dubs’ two newest rookies will only help sweeten the potential return for teams looking to move All-Star talent during what remains of this offseason or at some point before next season’s trade deadline.
Otherwise, the future is full of potential for a Warriors team that still appears talented and deep enough with the moves it made in free agency to threaten a return to the NBA Finals in an absolutely stacked Western Conference.