The deadline for rookie contract extensions past on Monday, though it meant little to the Golden State Warriors given they no longer hold a player from the 2020 draft class.
The Warriors are likely to be busy next offseason however, with current third-year forwards Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody each to be eligible for rookie extensions.
The price for talented, athletic two-way forwards may have been set 12 months out from a potential rookie extension for Jonathan Kuminga at the Golden State Warriors.
Evaluating the projected value of Kuminga and Moody is difficult at this point — both have lacked the opportunity to spread their wings and fulfil lottery pick expectations, but that may change this season with anticipated jumps for both.
That’s particularly the case for Kuminga who averaged the second-most points in the league through preseason, before overcoming early foul trouble to finish with 12 points and six rebounds against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night.
While the 21-year-old’s production could vary greatly as the season progresses, and there’s no certainty he remains with the team beyond the trade deadline, one of Monday’s rookie extensions should be closely looked at as a potential price for Kuminga come next offseason.
Like Kuminga, Minnesota Timberwolves small-forward Jaden McDaniels is a supremely talented, hyper-athletic two-way forward. The Timberwolves just committed five years and $131 million to the 23-year-old, a mark that Kuminga could realistically strive towards.
McDaniels averaged 12.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 30.6 minutes per game last season, shooting 51.7% from the field and 39.8% from three-point range. His reputation has primarily been built on the defensive end though where he averaged 0.9 steals and 1.0 block across 79 games.
Kuminga and McDaniels aren’t in anyway identical, but there’s enough similarities to suggest the former could develop to the point he commands in excess of $100 million. Kuminga may never reach the heights or consistency that McDaniels does defensively, yet you could argue he has much greater upside as a scorer and overall offensive player.
Seeing the McDaniels number may make the Warriors nervous on what they could potentially have to fork out to secure their own young forward in 12 months. Matters could only be complicated by Moody’s extension eligibility, along with that of veteran shooting-guard Klay Thompson.