Chris Paul disregard's Golden State Warriors teammate in choice for major NBA award

Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors
Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga has been one of the shining lights for the Golden State Warriors this season, having developed into the team's second-best scorer over the past couple of months.

After an up-and-down start to the season, Kuminga has built into being one of the league's most improved players on the back of his explosive athleticism and relentless attack on the rim.

Chris Paul has disregarded Golden State Warriors' teammate Jonathan Kuminga in providing his choice for NBA's Most Improved Player

Kuminga surged into the Most Improved Player conversation about a month ago, and at one stage on February 20 was a fourth-favorite for the award at +850 with Fanduel Sportsbook.

The 21-year-old's odds have since worsened, still sitting as fourth-favorite but at +4000. Kuminga is behind Tyrese Maxey, Coby White and Jalen Williams in favouritism for the award.

While he may now be considered an outsider to win it, you would think Warrior teammates and those in the organization would be pressing for him as a candidate. That's not necessarily the case though, with veteran point-guard Chris Paul going in a different direction.

Speaking to The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry after his team's 125-122 loss to the Chicago Bulls last Thursday, Paul endorsed White as his choice for Most Improved Player, stating, "he better get it."

While Paul and White have a close mentor-mentee relationship, perhaps it would have been nice for the 38-year-old to endorse his teammate instead. In fairness to Paul, he has had glowing praise for Kuminga on more than one occasion this season.

Kuminga's scoring has risen from 9.9 to 16.0 points this season, while his rebounding has lifted from 3.4 to 4.8. The former seventh overall pick is also shooting a career-high 53% from the field and is also shooting a career-high 73.9% from the free-throw line on over four attempts per game.

Kuminga had 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Bulls, with White adding 20 points, four rebounds and seven assists in his team's three-point win. The Chicago guard is averaging 19.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists, shooting 45.4% from the floor and 38.8% from three-point range.