Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has a lofty comparison for the team’s top rookie.
Lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga has been moving along slowly in his development, splitting time between Golden State and the G League Santa Cruz Warriors and only recently cracking the regular rotation. The slow start doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for Kerr, who believes that 19-year-old could be on the same path that led to stardom for Kawhi Leonard.
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Kerr Sees Bright Future for Kuminga
Speaking to reporters this week, Kerr said that Kuminga’s situation reminds him much of Leonard’s first few years in the league. The San Antonio Spurs had a trio of established stars in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, meaning they didn’t have to rush Leonard’s development and could allow him to come along more slowly. As Kerr noted, Leonard was the fourth or fifth option and chipped in around 10 points a night those years, laying the foundation for the player he would later become.
Kuminga may be able to come along the same way, Kerr said, letting veterans Steph Curry and Draymond Green shoulder the load for now while he grows more acclimated to the game.
“He’s not the focal point, but he can be part of it, without having to shoulder the responsibility of all of the decision-making,” Kerr said, via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “Then, when it comes times for him to make a decision or make a play, he’s just doing the simple thing. That’s a great sign for a young guy. In terms of his big-picture development, this is a great time for him to be laying the foundation. That’s what he’s doing.”