The Golden State Warriors gave their top dogs a much needed rest last night, but their #7 pick in the 2021 draft Jonathan Kuminga showed some very encouraging minutes in a 119-100 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
He had 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting! He made 4-of-6 from downtown, which includes missing a half court heave! The 19-year old became the youngest player in franchise history to score 20+ points in a game!
He also had 1 assist and 1 rebound in 36 minutes while coughing up 6 turnovers! That’s what I call an encouraging learning experience. He wouldn’t be the first Warrior to have hella turnovers against the Raptors anyway (remember when Draymond Green had 8 in the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 Finals? Sometimes it’s hard to hold on to the rock).
During the draft, Duby Dub Dubs and I were at a draft night party thrown by the Light Years podcast team. I do recall that when Kuminga was selected, the majority of the people in attendance weren’t exactly excited:
Duby turned to me, chuckling over a beer, and shouted “Bob Myers is going for the freak athletes!”. One year after picking James Wiseman 2nd overall the Dubs were doubling down on raw athletically gifted prospects. I was wrapped in so many conversations that night about the draft that I never actually checked DNHQ’s live draft thread at the time.
Today after seeing Kuminga’s quality showing against the Raptors amidst a season of JK moments where it’s like “yo this dude might need to be used in the playoffs”, I had the urge to go back through that thread to see what people felt about the Kuminga pick. Here’s some excerpts of commentary on the pick from draft night:
Vignette17: Getting Moody really improved my mood from hearing the Kuminga pick. One nice thing is both guys are pretty good rebounders for their size. Both get to the line a bit. Both are teenagers. It would have been really nice to get Wagner/Moody, but today is about positivity. Now go get Batum, Kevin Love, Baze and that's a solid offseason.
Klon: Okay, if this isn't part of a trade, I genuinely want Steph to leave after next season. This is a slap in the face, nothing short of it. And don't even dare try to tell me there is anything good for Steph in having two high-risk projects on the roster.
invo.k.shen: Sigh. My rationalization is that even if the Warriors had the 6th pick, they probably still would've chosen Kuminga to disappoint everyone...
Abbadon: Kuminga is the highest ceiling guy available. Not that I like the pick.
BKisforSF: They are absolutely doing the opposite of what Steph and Dray talked about, and it’s the fig leaf of… ‘well, we tried, messed around, and ended up with a bunch of developmental projects. I’m so pissed right now
Captain Jack: Alright let's hope our vets will teach Kuminga to play the game properly. The physical toolset is there. We might have found our duo of the future if all goes well here
Doc: 2 wings. Most important position in league. Higher floor with Moody and higher ceiling with Kuminga. I love it. I’ve already formed an irrational emotional attachment to them and hope they aren’t traded for any of the talked about targets. Develop them. Develop Wiseman. Let’s not be in the lottery for the next 10 years. Have a chance to win it every single year.
Hammystyle: Ballsy. He’s a very high upside player, and has the chance to retain major trade value. He also could be a decent contributor sooner then people think if he can just focus on 3 and D. The Jaylen Brown, Kawhi Leonard development cycle has worked before
CJ: warriors fans have to minga him a chance. He's either a bust or a star, he has tons of potential
Richard: High upside wing with great motor and need to develop shooting and decision making. Hey it’s affordable Oubre!
Crusty Quips: My prediction is that people that are freaking out right now will look silly after the season.
Fascinating! Obviously it’s still super early, but I’d love to hear more about how DNHQ feels about his potential now.Gary Payton II on Jonathan Kuminga: "I could see him being an elite two-way player. It's just going to take time. He's super young."I knew Kuminga was most likely gonna be good, him and Wiseman on a bad team would be a nasty young duo btw dont let blogbois cook your brains
He’s definitely hella fun to use in NBA 2K as a high flying stretch 5 running inverted pick and rolls with Steph and Klay. OMG if the Warriors figure out how to play fast and stretch the floor with either Kuminga or Wiseman at the stretch 5? IT’S OVER!