Jonathan Kuminga could have played his final game as a member of the Golden State Warriors. As the team heads into what is shaping up to be a crucial offseason, his name is continuously brought up in trade rumors.
The 20-year-old wing was included on Bleacher Report’s list of players under 25-years-old who could be traded for a star. NBA writer Zach Buckley explained that Kuminga is viewed as a valuable asset to team around the league, despite Steve Kerr electing to keep him on the bench in the playoffs.
He highlighted Kuminga’s upside, pointing out how much room he still has to grow, while already being able to be effective in the right role.
“There aren’t many 20-year-olds with his combination of raw tools and emerging talent,” he wrote. “If he simply stopped improving now, he could be a devastating defender and effective slasher who could pop out for the occasional three-ball.”
Kuminga posted promising numbers in his 67 regular-season appearances for the Dubs this year, playing about 20.8 minutes each game. He averaged 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game, while shooting 51.9% from the field and 37.0% from beyond the arc.
Again, it was the playoffs where Kuminga found himself watching games from the bench. That’s something that will surely change if he continues to work on his game.
“But this isn’t the end of his development,” Buckley continued. “His paths to improvement jut out like octopus tentacles. He can make strides as a shooter, decision-maker, rebounder, attacker and off-ball defender. That’s a laundry list of improvements to make, sure, but it just shows how many layers might one day be in his game. Even if he doesn’t check every box, ticking off just a few might be his springboard to stardom. His bounce is elite. His twitchiness feels unfair for someone his size (6’7″, 225 lbs). When he adds flashes of shot-creation to the equation, imaginations can run wild about his future.”
Jonathan Kuminga Reportedly Could Seek Trade From Warriors
Kuminga’s name repeatedly coming up in trade rumors isn’t a coincidence. Golden State’s No. 00 was reportedly frustrated with his role in the postseason. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Anthony Slater, there’s a chance that he looks to force a trade this summer if his playing time isn’t going to increase.
“The Warriors and Kuminga’s representatives are expected to discuss his future this offseason, league sources say,” Slater and Charania wrote on May 12. “Golden State will need to decide whether Kuminga will receive a full-time role moving forward and, if not, league sources say the No. 7 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft will want to be somewhere he can play more.”
Warriors’ Steve Kerr Wants to See Jonathan Kuminga Improve
A week after the news broke of Kuminga being frustrated, Kerr joined “The TK Show,” hosted by The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, and discussed what it’s going to take for Kuminga to earn a more prominent role with the Dubs next season.
“The minutes are there for him to take at the backup four next year,” he told Kawakami. “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… 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.”