It’s been a hectic ride for Golden State Warriors fans over the last few years.
It really all started with Klay Thompson’s torn ACL in the 2019 NBA Finals. While Kevin Durant was always likely to leave, with the Dubs collapse forecasted, the former MVP departed. Thompson was out the entire next season.
The Golden State Warriors have built up an insanely talented young core, but keeping them together is going to be easier said than done.
The Warriors won 15 games in the 2019-2020 season as Stephen Curry also missed the bulk of the season as well.
They missed the playoffs and then drafted star center James Wiseman. The Dubs again struggled during the 2020-2021 season, missing the postseason after a play-in tournament loss to Memphis.
The Warriors then took Jonathan Kuminga at No. 7 and Moses Moody at No. 14. Those three prospects along with Jordan Poole make up the Dubs’ elite young core. They should want to keep them all, but that’ll be impossible.
Kuminga is the one that should best fit their timeline. The Warriors will have to choose between Poole and Andrew Wiggins this upcoming offseason. Kuminga will be a free agent following the 2024-2025 season, so he’s locked up for three more years.
Preparing to keep him is something the Dubs should plan for, especially considering they’ll see the first of their core leave next offseason. At least Golden State seems expected to choose Wiggins over Poole.
Kuminga, given his athletic nature and instincts, has the highest ceiling of the four. He averaged 9.3 points per game as a rookie and shot over 50% from the field. Kuminga upped his scoring to 19.8 per 36 minutes, an impressive figure for a rookie.
The 6-foot-8, 19-year-old has quite a bit of growing to do on both ends of the court, but with Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Wiggins all likely to sign near-max deals prior to Kuminga’s next deal, the time for these hard decisions regarding the future may come relatively soon.
The Warriors don’t plan to have a time where aren’t contending. Kuminga will help bridge the gap for when the Big 3 inevitable age out, and if he continues to grow, he could be the leader of this organization on both ends of the court.
However, the Warriors are going to need to prepare for him to get a max deal, especially if he continues to improve at the rate he currently is.