Jonathan Kuminga, the Golden State Warriors’ 7th pick in last year’s NBA Draft, turned 19 years old less than two weeks before the start of the 2021 season.
He was widely considered too “raw” to earn meaningful rotation minutes as Steve Kerr and the Warriors pursued their return to title contention.
Over the past month, Kuminga has been lighting it up, earning 26.5 minutes per game. How as that impacted the Golden State Warriors?
After his future with the team was set in July, NBC Sports Bay Area emphasized that “Kuminga is perceived as more of a project, and some are skeptical that he will be able to contribute much as a rookie.”
The expectation was for him to ride the far end of the bench and soak up experience from future Hall of Fame-quality players. That was it. As of February 2022, Kuminga’s narrative has changed.
The Warriors certainly got an earlier return on their investment than expected: over the past month, Kuminga has been lighting it up, earning 26.5 minutes per game and cashing them nightly into the tune of 15.4 points.
Offering elite burst and athleticism at 6-foot-8 on an undersized Dubs squad, he’s become a staple of Kerr’s rotations.
Throughout the month of February, Kuminga’s 15.4 points per game rank 4th among all rookies; he has managed to achieve this on 26.5 minutes per game – the lowest average playing time of the top-ten rookie scorers that month.
In addition to scoring, February saw Kuminga rank top-ten among his fellow rookies in the following stats: rebounds (4.8 per game), blocks (0.8 per game), free throws attempted (4.6 per game), plus-minus (+3.7), and field goal percentage (58.8%).
The latter three figures are particularly impressive and benefit from closer inspection.