Warriors Veteran Visited Las Vegas to Build ‘Chemistry’ With Rookies

Jonathan Kuminga

Getty Jonathan Kuminga dunks in an NBA Summer League game.

A pair of Golden State Warriors rookies are getting some veteran help in adjusting to the NBA.

Wing Mychal Mulder opened up this week about his visit to Las Vegas to watch the team’s two lottery picks — No. 7 Jonathan Kuminga and No. 14 Moses Moody — during the Summer League season. Mulder said the trip helped him to get to know his newest teammates and build some chemistry for an upcoming season that will come with heightened expectations.

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Building Chemistry

Mulder said he wanted to get an early start getting to know the team’s new draft picks, so he traveled to Las Vegas to watch them competing in the Summer League tournament. Speaking to Kendra Andrew of Grant Liffman of NBC Sports Bay Area’s Dubs Talk Podcast, Mulder said it was good to spend time with them both on and off the court and start to build some chemistry.

“Next season starts now so we all felt that it was important to get this stop in Vegas,” he said. “If even we weren’t playing, wanted to make sure to get some practice in with the new guys, get some workouts in and get to know each other a little bit.”

Mulder said he was impressed by both Kuminga and Moody, especially how eager they are to learn the game. He said Kuminga had an impressive skillset and an “NBA body,” and Moody was a good threat on offense.

“He’s ready. He’s physical. He doesn’t get bumped off the ball or nothing like that, he gets to his spot,” Mulder said. “Moody has a lot of moves as well. He can shoot the ball really well, handle the ball in pick and roll situations, and they both defend. I’ve been impressed with that.”

Despite rumors that the Warriors were considering packaging their lottery picks to trade for an established NBA star, the team ultimately ended up holding onto both and taking Kuminga and Moody. After two seasons that fell short of the playoffs, there are some big expectations in Golden State as Klay Thompson is expected to return from injuries that wiped out two full seasons.

Both rookies had strong performances in the slate of summer games. Moody averaged 16.3 points per game across four contests, while Kuminga went for 17.3 points.

Mulder will likely spend plenty of time with both Kuminga and Moody, who are expected to join him on the second unit. Mulder averaged 5.6 points in 60 games last season, including six starts.

Other Warriors Veteran Impressed

Mulder wasn’t the only Warriors veteran to trek out to the desert to watch Kuminga and Moody compete in Summer League. Steph Curry and Draymond Green also paid a visit to Las Vegas and were impressed by what they saw. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said that the top overall pick earned some rare praise from Curry.

“We were watching him last night with Steph and Draymond,” Myers said during an appearance on 95.7 The Game. “For me, in the position I’m in, it’s almost like watching your kids. … I almost care more what a player might say about him and think about him, because they don’t carry that bias.

“But talking to Curry and Draymond, Steph kind of elbowed me and said, ‘This kid’s pretty good.’ And these guys don’t compliment easily. They’ve seen a lot.”

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