2. Jonathan Kuminga
Kuminga was in trade rumors (subscription required) this summer, and his desire for a larger role evident. The seventh overall pick in 2021 averaged 9.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 20.8 minutes per game last season, but he slipped out of the playoff rotation. The 21-year-old has yet to live up to the hype and will likely be shopped before the trade deadline if he does not display significant improvements.
Finding a 6’8 forward with his athletic ability and raw talent is not easy, but how can Golden State unlock his potential? Kuminga will be behind Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green, but plenty of minutes are available if he becomes the backup forward. He dropped 20-plus in each of the team’s first three preseason games and this could finally be the breakout season fans have waited for.
Kuminga is a player to watch. Draymond’s injury has opened up more opportunities, but does the 21-year-old remain happy when the four-time All-Star returns from his ankle injury? If his playing time dips, will Kuminga want out of the Bay Area? Can the Dubs keep him happy and continue his growth as they chase a championship? It won’t be easy and could be a situation until February.
The Golden State Warriors need Jonathan Kuminga, and if he is not ready to make an impact on both ends of the floor, they may have to upgrade that spot before the trade deadline.