Over four months ago, the Golden State Warriors‘ front office had some big decisions to make on one particular summer night.
The 2021 NBA draft began on July 29 and the Dubs were in a unique situation of owning two lottery picks – at No. 7 and No. 14. After Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes, Jalen Suggs and Josh Giddey were selected with the first six picks, Golden State had, among other options, forwards Jonathan Kuminga and Franz Wagner.
Dub Nation obviously knows that the organization went with Kuminga and there doesn’t appear to be any regrets thus far from that decision. It’s interesting to think of the Warriors’ decision and how it has impacted Wagner though.
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Wagner has certainly had significantly more playing time with the NBA team that drafted him eighth overall – the Orlando Magic – than Kuminga has had with the Dubs, and therefore his numbers are much better-looking than the Warriors rookie. Wagner has played and started in all 24 of the Magic’s contests thus far and is second on the team in scoring at 13.6 points per game and is posting 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists, and a team-leading 1.1 steals per game as well.
Kuminga meanwhile has rotated between the NBA and G-League, suiting up for 14 games with Golden State and averaging 3.0 points, 1.6 rebounds and 7.2 minutes per contest. While Wagner would surely rather be on a team with a 19-4 record like the Dubs instead of a 5-19 squad like the Magic, he’s not only receiving the playing time he likely wants, but is getting a chance to play alongside older brother Moritz Wagner as well.
Former Dubs Guard Looking for Revenge After Being Cut in October
Wagner isn’t the only player on the Magic who could be out for a dose of revenge against the Warriors on Monday.
Nearly two months ago, as Golden State was making its final round of cuts before the regular season began, Mychal Mulder was waived. After going undrafted in 2019, Mulder signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Miami Heat that September and was waived by the club the following month. Mulder signed a 10-day contract with Golden State last February and made his NBA debut on February 27th in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring two points and grabbing four rebounds while going 1-for-6 from the field in 22 minutes of action.
Mulder signed a multi-year contract with the Warriors in March 2020. He played in seven games that season, earning three starts, before the team’s season ended prematurely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his first seven games, the University of Kentucky Wildcats product posted 11.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 29.1 minutes per game while registering a shooting line of 38.8/30.8/75.0. During the 2020-2021 campaign, Mulder played in 60 games, including six starts. He averaged 5.6 points, 1.0 rebound and 12.8 minutes per contest while posting a 44.9/39.7/63.6 shooting line.
Following his release from the Warriors, Mulder signed a two-way contract with the Magic on October 26th. In 11 games this season, including one start, the 27-year-old is averaging 3.2 points, 1.0 rebounds and 10.5 minutes per contest.
Andre Iguodala Set to Miss yet Another Game
When the Warriors and Magic battle at 10 p.m. ET on Monday, a few bodies that didn’t suit up for the Dubs’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday are expected to be back in action. One guy that fans won’t see check in at the scorer’s table at any point during the contest though is Andre Iguodala.
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