Jonathan Kuminga might only be 19 years old but the biggest opportunity of his young NBA career is already presenting itself with the Golden State Warriors. He has a chance to shine and earn consistent minutes down the stretch of the season — can he do it?
The time is now for Jonathan Kuminga to make his mark with the Golden State Warriors. He must seize the moment before Draymond Green returns.
It is no surprise that Kuminga has been in a restricted role for most of his first season. He ranks 26th in total minutes played among the 2022 NBA Draft Class despite being the No. 7 overall pick. The reason? The Warriors are a loaded team with lofty expectations.
These expectations, while still sky-high, have been lowered enough due to Draymond Green’s absence to warrant Kuminga’s recent surge in playing time. With the door open for someone to fill in for Green, Kuminga has stepped up.
In his first five games without Green, Kuminga posted 16.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in over 25 minutes per game. He was a bull in a china shop, rampaging his way to the rim and using his rock-solid frame to snatch rebounds.
The only issue — Golden State was losing. Kuminga was a horrid minus-30 in the Dubs loss to Minnesota and did not attempt a single shot in his minus-15 performance against Indiana.
Overall, Golden State has gone 3-4 with Kuminga in place of Green.
Consequently, Kuminga’s minutes have dipped again. He was yanked out of the starting lineup and played only 15 minutes versus a rebuilding Houston Rockets team.
There was never an expectation that Kuminga would slide in and replace Green seamlessly. Yet, it is important he manages to turn it back around and start to play productive two-way basketball again.
At least, if he wants to play a meaningful role for the team heading down the stretch of an important season. The rotation is about to thin and Kuminga will have to seize the moment in order to avoid falling deep into the reserves.