Pacific Notes: Kuminga, Lakers, Magic, A. Holiday

Warriors rookie Jonathan Kuminga may be just 19 years old, but his sights are set on lofty career goals, as Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated relays.

Kuminga hopes to become “at least a three-time MVP [and] four-time Defensive Player of the Year,” wants to make the Hall of Fame, and win multiple championships.

The No. 7 overall pick of the 2021 draft, Kuminga has had an increased role recently due to injuries to Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Through eight games in February (26.3 MPG), Kuminga has scored in double figures in each contest, averaging 15.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 1.9 APG on .603/.320/.690 shooting.

Kuminga will participate in the Rising Stars event Friday night. He was named as a replacement for Indiana rookie Chris Duarte, who’s dealing with a toe injury.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic explores how the Lakers will attempt to survive without star Anthony Davis, who’s sidelined for at least a month with a mid-foot sprain. The Lakers will likely lean more heavily on LeBron James and Russell Westbrook in Davis’ absence, Buha writes, with James figuring to see more time at center. Lineups featuring James at center have a positive net rating (+2.5) and are outstanding offensively, but struggle on defense.
  • Lakers legend Magic Johnson recently shared his thoughts on the current team with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (the interview was conducted prior to Davis’ injury). Johnson says the group lacks an identity and has been inconsistent throughout the season, but he thinks that if the “Big Three” can figure out how to mesh together, the Lakers will still be dangerous in the playoffs.
  • Evan Sidery of believes that Aaron Holiday ‘fits right in’ with the Suns, and could eventually supplant Landry Shamet as the fourth guard in the rotation given Shamet’s shooting struggles. “He just continues to play the kind of basketball we like to play,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said after Phoenix beat Houston 124-121 Wednesday. “Defensively, he just gets into stuff and he comes up with balls. I thought the inbounds play under the basket where he stole it and laid it up, that’s Aaron [Holiday], and I like his willingness to take shots.” Holiday was acquired from the Wizards last week for cash considerations.
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