Jonathan Kuminga

Warriors Notes: Rookies, Roster, Iguodala, Summer League

The Warriors selected Patrick Baldwin Jr. with their first-round pick (No. 28) in a gamble on his upside, and he’ll bring a familiar, appreciated mentality to Golden State, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

As Poole details, Baldwin was a five-star recruit entering college, but was limited to just 11 games for Wisconsin-Milwaukee due to a serious ankle injury, which had some questioning his toughness. The young forward insists that isn’t an issue.

There’s never a point where if I feel like I’m healthy that I feel like I should sit out,” Baldwin told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I know that’s contrary to popular belief with some people. If I’m healthy, I’m playing, but at some points I was pushing through it. But if there was a sliver of a chance I could play for my team and compete, I’m going out there to play.”

Baldwin averaged 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per contest as a freshman last season, but his shooting line of .344/.266/.743 was dreadful. He also tested extremely poorly at the combine last month, Poole notes, recording just a 26.5 inch maximum vertical leap, one of the worst marks in the last 10 years.

I’m a better athlete than I showed that day,” Baldwin told Poole. “I’m a firm believer in that. I know I’ve got to come out here and really show that’s not an issue. That’s all you can do. You can’t sit and talk about it. You’ve got to do it.”

President of basketball operations Bob Myers recently said that Baldwin still needs to be medically cleared for Summer League action, so it sounds like the ankle might still be an issue (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Myers also touched on the team’s second-round selections, per Slater. Golden State expects to have Ryan Rollins on the 15-man roster, but might draft-and-stash Gui Santos. The Warriors traded up to acquire Rollins at No. 44, while the Brazilian forward Santos was the team’s own pick at No. 55.
  • Tim Kawakami of The Athletic provides a player-by-player breakdown of the team’s roster following the draft. Myers said drafting young players is desirable in part because they’re so difficult to obtain in free agency. “It’s easier to get some of the older players, we think, in free agency, than young players. Young players are probably the most in demand in free agency. Obviously trading for them is extremely difficult. So that’s why we draft some guys like that,” he said as part of a larger quote.
  • Andre Iguodala has earned “player-emeritus status” with the Warriors, Monte Poole states in a separate article. Iguodala is undecided on whether or not he’s going to retire, but the team would be “thrilled” to have him back. Poole argues that Iguodala’s off-court impact is incredibly valuable to Golden State and the team should keep him as long as he wants to stick around, like what Miami does with Udonis Haslem.
  • The Warriors expect James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to all participate in Summer League, according to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area, who says the trio has a big opportunity to improve this offseason. Wiseman, of course, missed all of last season after multiple setbacks from a couple of knee surgeries.

Warriors Notes: No. 28 Pick, Looney, Payton, Wiseman, Iguodala, More

Speaking today to reporters, Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said that money won’t be the deciding factor as the team weighs whether to use or trade the No. 28 overall pick, as Kendra Andrews of ESPN relays (via Twitter).

“It’ll be if it makes sense,” Myers said of a possible trade.

Besides the financial aspect, the Warriors will have to consider whether there’s a player they like at No. 28 enough to add another rookie to a young core that already includes several recent lottery picks.

According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Celtics, Knicks, and Magic are among the teams that have expressed interest in the No. 28 pick.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Asked about the Warriors’ key free agents, starting with Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II, Myers said, “Our hope and our goal is to bring all of those guys back” (Twitter link via Mark Medina of NBA.com). However, he added that Golden State will be mindful of the marketplace, suggesting there may be a price point the team won’t exceed. Myers also spoke at length about the ownership’s willingness to pay an ever-growing tax bill as long as the Warriors remain a title contender (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).
  • According to Myers, the Warriors would like to extend Andrew Wiggins‘ and Jordan Poole‘s contracts this offseason, but those talks may not be on the front burner to start the summer, since the deadline for a Poole extension isn’t until October, and Wiggins could be extended during the season (Twitter link via Andrews).
  • The Warriors aren’t giving head coach Steve Kerr a mandate to play youngsters James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody a certain amount next season. “If there are guys playing better, we’ll play those guys,” Myers said (Twitter link via Medina).
  • Wiseman hasn’t experienced any recent setbacks and the plan remains for him to play in either the California Classic or Las Vegas Summer League in July, Myers said today (Twitter link via Medina). That plan was reported earlier this month.
  • Neither Myers nor Kerr is certain whether or not Andre Iguodala will retire this summer, tweets Slater. “It’s a really big decision for him,” Kerr said. “If he decides to come back, we’d be thrilled.”

Pacific Notes: Murray, Lakers Workout, Kuminga, Moody, Warriors’ Pick

Jaden Ivey, the top rated point guard in the draft, hasn’t worked out for the Kings, who hold the fourth overall pick. It may be a moot point, as Sacramento’s brass is high on Iowa forward Keegan Murray, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The Kings arranged for the prospect to have dinner with the team stars, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, during his visit. Murray was one of top scorers in Division I last season at 23.5 PPG along with 8.7 RPG.

If he’s selected fourth overall, Murray could slot into the Kings’ frontcourt alongside Sabonis and Harrison Barnes.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers continued to do their homework despite not owning a draft pick, as they worked out six prospects on Monday, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. That group included Javante McCoy (Boston University), Keve Aluma (Virginia Tech), Khalifa Diop (Gran Canaria), Jeenathan Williams (Buffalo), Malik Osborne (Florida State) and Danko Brankovic (Cibona).
  • Lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody got the rare experience of playing on a championship team in their first year. Though they didn’t play large roles in the postseason, the Warriors rookies got invaluable experience as their playing time grows in future seasons, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN writes. “I never really worry about whether we’re playing, not playing,” Kuminga said. “As long as I’m still here, learning, getting better every day. When my moments get called, I know I’ll be ready. … Everybody here [is] just helping me, way more than dudes [other rookies around the league] are, wherever they are right now.”
  • The Warriors hold the No. 28 pick but they might not add an rookie, according to Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated. The Warriors are looking to trade the pick, in part because of their huge payroll and also because they’ve already got a trio of young players — James Wiseman, Kuminga and Moody — fighting for rotation minutes next season.

Warriors Notes: Championship, Lacob, Veteran Core, Offseason

The Warriors‘ championship this year vindicated the belief of team management and ownership that the team could build a “two-timeline” roster, using its lottery picks in 2020 and 2021 on young prospects rather than in trades for win-now help, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

[RELATED: Warriors Win 2022 Title, Stephen Curry Named MVP]

As Slater details, president of basketball operations Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob believed the roster was talented enough to contend for a title without having to trade those picks. Golden State ultimately opted to draft and develop James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody while continuing to lean on veterans like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins.

“They were doubted,” Lacob said on Thursday night, referring to the Warriors’ veteran stars. “But these guys are not 40 years old. We believed in that core. Not many teams have a core four. A lot of people say core three. I say core four. We’re spending the money to do that. Then, we supplement and surround that team.

“I know some people thought we could’ve done more, got another star. But who were we going to get? Who was available that would make a difference? We didn’t think there was, and we really wanted these young guys to be developed and learn from these guys. They have learned. We are going to be even better as a result of that in the years going forward.”

Here’s more on the NBA champions:

  • Lacob is confident that his club can continue to be a contender for years to come, as David Aldridge of The Athletic relays. “I intend to own this team for a long time and I intend to win as many championships as possible,” Lacob said. “It’s all about winning. That’s it. That’s all I care about. We’re going to do whatever it takes. The truth is, we’ve got really smart people who work in this organization, and we are, usually, going to figure it out and be real good.”
  • The Warriors’ fourth title in the last eight years left no doubt of their star trio’s place in NBA history, says Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “Individually, we all do different, unique things to impact winning,” Curry said of himself, Green, and Thompson. “We all have a sense of humility about what it takes to win and knowing that we respect what every single one of us brings to the table. But there’s also an ego with that, too. So there’s a healthy balance. And the rest of it is trust.”
  • Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype looks ahead to the offseason decisions facing the Warriors following their championship run, while Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN revisits seven important moments from that run.
  • Oddsmakers and sportsbooks have made the Warriors the early favorites for the 2023 title, according to David Purdum of ESPN. Golden State is a little ahead of Brooklyn, Boston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and the Clippers.

Pacific Notes: James, Kuminga, Booker, Kings Draft Workout

LeBron James can sign a two-year extension this offseason and it increasingly appears he’s on board with the team’s future plans. Brian Windhorst said on ESPN’s Get Up show that James and Lakers owner Jeanie Buss are “in a good place” as the franchise tries to move on from a disastrous season (hat tip to Hoops Hype).

“From what I understand, LeBron and Jeanie are in a good place right now, despite the frustrations of this season,” Windhorst said. “LeBron believes that a few tweaks and some health can actually turn this thing around, and they can be super competitive. He is invested, wants to be there.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jonathan Kuminga didn’t play in Game 6 against the Grizzlies but Draymond Green believes the Warriors rookie has a very bright future, as he told Marc Spears of Andscape. “He can be a perennial All-Star in this league,” Green said. “That’s up to him and the work he puts in. But he has the skills, the tools, he can see the floor, he has the opportunity if he puts the work in to be a perennial All-Star.”
  • Devin Booker finished fourth in the voting for the Most Valuable Player award but the Suns guard should be at the forefront of the conversation for next year’s award, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. Along with his scoring and play-making, Booker has cut down on his turnovers and improved defensively.
  • The Kings brought in six draft prospects on Thursday, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee tweets. That group included Will Richardson (Oregon), Jamal Bieniemy (UTEP), Lester Quinones (Memphis), Jeriah Horne (Tulsa), Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Louisiana Tech) and Efe Abogidi (Washington State).

Warriors Notes: Poole, Porter, Kuminga, Wiggins

Before the controversy over Ja Morant‘s injured knee that dominated the postgame talk after Saturday’s GrizzliesWarriors game, there was already a strong focus on his matchup with Jordan Poole, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. After three days of hearing questions about his defense following Morant’s 47-point explosion in Game 2, Poole responded by taking the ball at Morant repeatedly Saturday night.

Both players were selected in the 2019 draft, but while Morant was the second pick and his path to stardom was quick, Poole was taken at No. 28 and had to live with an early label of being a bust before proving that he can play. He welcomes the opportunity to measure himself against Morant, Thompson writes, and he responded to a challenge laid down by his veteran teammates to keep competing no matter how many times he’s targeted on defense.

“It’s going to keep happening,” Stephen Curry said. “Whether it’s me, him, whoever. That’s the nature of the playoffs. But you just have to take that challenge seriously. You have to have some pride around it, knowing that they are trying to put you in the actions for a reason. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get a stop every time. It just means you did your job.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • The team’s most important offseason addition has turned out to be Otto Porter, who signed a veteran’s minimum contract last summer, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Porter’s numbers — 13 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots — didn’t stand out on Saturday, but he was plus-30 in 24 minutes of action and ranks second on the team at plus-76 in the playoffs. According to Kawakami, Golden State tried to sign Patty Mills and Nicolas Batum to a mid-level deal last summer, but turned to Porter when Mills and Batum chose other teams.
  • Rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga was the newest member of the starting lineup Saturday night, notes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Coach Steve Kerr wants to keep Poole in a reserve role and there are spacing issues when Kevon Looney plays alongside Draymond Green, so Kerr opted for Kuminga, who scored 18 points and matched up well when he was switched onto Morant.
  • Andrew Wiggins set a personal playoff record with 15 points in the first half Saturday, adding another dimension to the Warriors’ potent offense, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “That’s what we’ve been asking Wiggs to do all year … put your head down and get to the hole,” Green said. “It’s very hard to stop him from getting to the basket. It’s bigger than just dunks. The way he’s been rebounding and the physicality that he’s been playing with and boxing out … he’s been doing an incredible job no matter who he gets matched up on.”

Pacific Notes: Curry, Kuminga, Powell, Sabonis

Stephen Curry will return to the starting lineup tonight as the Warriors will open Game 5 with the small-ball unit that has caused match-up problems for the Nuggets throughout their series, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Kevon Looney will come off the bench as Draymond Green takes over at center.

It will mark Curry’s first start since suffering a sprained left foot and bone bruise in mid-March that forced him to miss the rest of the regular season. He has remained a dangerous weapon as a reserve, averaging 27.5 points per game and shooting 38.9% from three-point range in the first four games of the series.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jonathan Kuminga might see his role expanded now that Andre Iguodala is out for the rest of the series with a neck injury, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Kuminga played 11 minutes in Game 4, all in the second quarter, producing nine points and making an impact on defense. Iguodala has been struggling on offense, but has contributed in other ways, including logging a few minutes at center last game. “The neck is bothering him again,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters after today’s shootaround. “He’s disappointed, he can’t play.” 
  • An injury disrupted Norman Powell‘s time with the Clippers shortly after he was acquired at the trade deadline, but he believes he’ll benefit from a fresh start with the team next season, per Law Murray of The Athletic. Powell wants to reach the level of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to give the team a third All-Star. “I think I’m ready for that, being that role as a primary guy,” he said. “That’s what I go out there and try to prove every single night that I can hold my own against the best in the world, but also, it’s about winning for me. Not only achieving those individual goals but achieving them as a team is what’s most important.”
  • Kings big man Domantas Sabonis is also looking forward to his first full season with his new team, according to Alex Kramers of NBA.com. Sabonis had to adjust quickly to his new surroundings after leaving the Pacers in a deadline deal, and he’s hoping to build chemistry with his teammates this offseason. “We didn’t have much time to practice and get together and know all the sets, defensive schemes and everything,” Sabonis said. “That’s why I’m excited for the summer. We’re going to get together as a group and try to build on things early before training camp even starts.”

Warriors Notes: Starting Lineup, Kuminga, Poole, Payton II

The Warriors have found a devastating lineup to close out games, and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic believes it’s just a matter of time until that group becomes the starters as well. Stephen Curry has been coming off the bench since returning from injury, and Thompson notes it would be easy to transfer his minutes back into a starter’s role. Thompson cites a “high likelihood” that the change will take place when Golden State begins its second-round series, if not sooner.

No matter what coach Steve Kerr decides to do with his rotation, Jordan Poole‘s role shouldn’t be changed, Thompson adds. Thompson states that Poole has been one of the Warriors’ best players for about two months, and the team has a 48-19 record with him as a starter.

The closing lineup, which also includes Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, has overcome concerns about its lack of size with aggressive defense and rebounding in the first-round series against Denver. Looking ahead to the next round, the author believes the smaller lineup provides favorable matchups against either the Grizzlies or Timberwolves.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga was a regular during the season, but he has only seen eight combined minutes in three games against the Nuggets. Team officials expect him to have a role later in the playoffs, Thompson adds in the same piece, so his playing time might increase in Game 4. “I keep reminding all the guys every day that, (in) the playoffs, things change at the drop of a hat,” Kerr said. “You’ve got to be prepared for everything. And have a lot of proof of that over the years. We’ve had a lot of players who have had to fill in and step up and play big roles in big series. … A big part of the playoffs is everybody staying ready.”
  • Poole’s improved play will set up a tricky extension decision for the Warriors this summer, writes Keith Smith of Spotrac. Poole is eligible for an extension that could be worth up to a projected $185MM+ over five years, but even if he agrees to take less, it will present an extra salary burden for a team that’s already paying nearly $350MM in combined salaries and luxury tax. Smith suggests something in the range of $100MM over four years might be a reasonable compromise, adding that the Warriors value Poole too much to let him get away.
  • Gary Payton II was considering applying for a job in the Warriors’ video department if he hadn’t made the team in training camp, per Kendra Andrews of ESPN“He’s been released so many times,” Kerr said. “It’s just him preparing for whatever is next. But he played so well for us, that was never going to be a possibility.”

Warriors Notes: Curry, Payton, Porter, Kuminga

Stephen Curry returned to practice for the first time since suffering a strained left foot and a bone bruise four weeks ago, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Today’s session focused on preparation work for the first-round series against the Nuggets. The Warriors are scheduled to scrimmage on Thursday, and coach Steve Kerr said Curry is expected to participate. Kerr added that he wants to see Curry in action during a scrimmage before the team determines whether he’ll play in Saturday’s series opener.

“He’s looking good to scrimmage tomorrow,” Kerr said. “Then we’ll take the next step. His conditioning should be good, so it’s more [of] just the training staff making the decision based on their evaluation of him.”

Golden State’s playoff fate could rest on how Curry performs in that scrimmage and how he feels afterward, suggests Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. There’s not time for Curry to go through the normal steps of returning to action, so the Warriors have to hope his foot responds well after his first serious on-court test since he suffered the injury on March 16.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Gary Payton II would like to re-sign with Golden State next season, but not if he can earn significantly more somewhere else, his father told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. Payton made $1.9MM this year, and Deveney believes his next contract could be worth about $20MM over three seasons. The Warriors already have tax concerns and may not be willing to hand out another sizable salary. “I would never tell my son not to explore something that would be better or would be best for him,” Payton Sr. said. “But I think he understands that Golden State is the best situation for him if there is playing time and they get it right. But if it doesn’t work out, he knows that this is a business and he has to move on.”
  • Otto Porter had a significant injury history before he signed with Golden State last summer, so the team monitored him closely all season long, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The Warriors staff watched his minutes, rested him on back-to-backs and sat him for a few games when his back started to hurt. He hopes to be fresh for the playoffs after playing 63 games, but only averaging 22.2 minutes per night. “Training staff here has a plan,” he said. “It’s worked wonders for me.”
  • The highs and lows that Jonathan Kuminga experienced during his rookie season make him an X-factor heading into the playoffs, observes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Green, Kuminga, Playoff Seeding

Warriors star Stephen Curry has started shooting as he continues to make progress in his recovery from a sprained left foot, writes Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area. Curry has been sidelined since March 16 and will miss the rest of the regular season.

He is on the court now, getting some shots up,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters Tuesday after practice. “He has been able to ramp things up a bit, and he’s doing well.”

Curry told Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi on ESPN’s “The Bird and Taurasi Show” that he plans to be back for the playoffs.

My goal is to get back for Game 1 of the playoffs,” Curry said Friday. “Injuries suck. The timing is hopefully on your side in terms of getting back to as close to 100 percent as possible, which is my goal. The boys will hold it down to the end of the regular season.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Draymond Green is starting to look like himself again after playing in back-to-back games for the first time since returning from a lower back injury, as ESPN’s Kendra Andrews relays. “I think there have been a few plays defensively that I can kind of feel me getting my time and rhythm back and covering up some things,” Green said. “Offensively, I’m starting to find my rhythm, too. I have to find my touch again. But other than that, I’m starting to find my rhythm. … It does feel that over the last few games it’s starting to come together for me.”
  • Rookie Jonathan Kuminga is soaking up knowledge for his first playoff test, Schrock writes in another NBC Sports Bay Area article. “The coaches, everybody, they always talk about it out of the blue,” Kuminga said on Sunday. “So, you just have to listen. Especially when I get a chance to play in certain games with the speed against the good teams, I see it. After the game or at halftime, they’ll be talking about, ‘that’s how the playoffs are going to be. That’s the pressure. That’s how a lot of the crowds will be like.’ As a young player, you’ve got to open your ears and just listen to what people are saying and learn from that. That’s basically what I have been doing pretty much.” Kuminga’s minutes have fluctuated wildly over the past handful of games, but he could be an X factor in the playoffs for a team with championship aspirations.
  • Anthony Slater of The Athletic explores five storylines to watch in the season’s final week, including the playoff seedings in the West. The Warriors are currently the No. 3 seed at 50-29 with three games remaining, and with one more win or a Denver loss, the team will clinch a top-four seed. However, the Warriors only hold a one-game lead over Dallas, and Dallas holds the tiebreaker due to a better head-to-head record. The Warriors face the Lakers, Spurs and Pelicans in their last three games, while the Mavs face the Pistons, Blazers and Spurs.