Jonathan Kuminga

Warriors’ Wiseman To Miss Several More Weeks

James Wiseman will likely be out until at least December as he rehabs from the meniscus injury that sidelined him at the end of last season.

The Warriors’ second-year center was cleared Friday to increase individual on-court workouts, according to the press release relayed by Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). He’ll be reevaluated at the beginning of next month but will likely need 4-6 weeks of conditioning once his recovery advances to full-contact practices.

Given that the Warriors play a combined 21 regular-season games in October and November, Wiseman will likely miss at least one-quarter of the season. That’s a setback for a team aiming to become a true contender again with the aid of the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Their top pick in the this year’s draft, forward Jonathan Kuminga, will be reevaluated in a week as he recovers from a strained patella, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Kuminga appeared in two preseason games before he was sidelined.

Pacific Notes: Kuminga, Poole, Staples Center, Suns’ Cap

Warriors lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga has a strained patella tendon in his right knee, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Kuminga will be reevaluated in a week, so it’s likely he’ll miss some early-season games. It’s a setback for a rookie forward trying to find his place on a team with postseason aspirations.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • With Klay Thompson still working his way back from the Achilles injury that sidelined him last season, Jordan Poole has seized a starting spot, Slater adds in another tweet. Coach Steve Kerr indicated that Poole has a solid hold on the shooting guard spot until Thompson returns. “For now, he’ll be in that starting spot and he’s playing so well, it’s hard to envision not keeping him there,” Kerr said.
  • A Staples Center spokesperson claims that Los Angeles’ new ordinance mandating that people must be vaccinated to enter a wide range of indoor venues in the city does not apply to the arena, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times tweets. According to the spokesperson, the Staples Center is covered by a previous county health order. Whether or not the new ordinance applies to the arena, it shouldn’t have an impact on the Lakers or Clippers at this point, since both teams are expected to be fully vaccinated when the regular season begins.
  • The Suns are in good shape regarding the luxury tax this season, but that could change next year, John Hollinger of The Athletic notes in his season preview. Phoenix is $8MM below the luxury-tax line and still has the majority of its mid-level exception and an open roster spot at its disposal. But if the team tries to retain Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton and Landry Shamet — all of whom are eligible for rookie scale extensions — it will be difficult to stay below the tax line going forward.

Warriors Notes: Kuminga, Curry, Wiggins, Bradley, Porter Jr.

What kind of role will lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga play in his rookie year with the Warriors? Coach Steve Kerr doesn’t have the answer in the early portion of training camp, as Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. “I think that’s kind of the question going into this year,” Kerr said. “It’s what we’re going to have to figure out.” Kuminga has shown that he’s not as raw an offensive talent as he’s been labeled. Kerr says Kuminga’s ability to get playing time will be a function of whether the team can count on him defensively.

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Stephen Curry is relieved that Andrew Wiggins chose to get vaccinated, which will allow him to practice and play in home games, Connor Letorneau of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. “It’s great he’s going to be available. … We’re excited to have him,” Curry said. “It’s a good sign of handling his responsibilities as part of the team.”
  • Golden State has 13 players on guaranteed contracts and several veterans on non-guaranteed deals. Curry anticipates that guard Avery Bradley will be one of the latter players who makes the cut, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. Bradley signed a one-year camp deal late last month. “I think that’s why he’s here,” Curry said, adding in the video post, “Everyone asks who are some of the toughest defenders you’ve had, he’s the first guy that comes to mind.”
  • Otto Porter Jr.‘s shooting ability could earn him a steady role, particularly at the power forward spot, as long as he stays healthy, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Porter was signed to a veteran’s minimum deal early in free agency. “Watching him in practice, he shoots it from all over,” Kerr said. “He can be a pick-and-pop guy at the top of the key. He could space the floor from the corner and catch and shoot from there.”

Pacific Notes: Hield, Holmes, Shamet, Bradley, Iguodala

Few players who returned to their teams for the 2021/22 season came closer to being traded over the summer than Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield. However, speaking to reporters at the start of training camp this week, Hield sounded happy to still be in Sacramento and unbothered by seeing his name pop up in offseason trade rumors, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee relays.

“Yeah, I saw (the trade rumors), but I can’t control none of that and this is the business we live in,” Hield said. “My job is to come in and work my butt off every day and produce, and try to produce wins, and I can’t get mad at that. I get paid lots and lots of money to do this, so I’m blessed each and every day to come in here and compete. I love being around my guys. I love the team camaraderie we share and all that. The coaching staff has been great. It’s been fun, so I love it. Whatever happens, happens.”

Kings forward/center Marvin Bagley III, who was also the subject of trade speculation during the offseason, downplayed those rumors too, telling reporters that he’s “right where God wants me to be,” per Anderson. Head coach Luke Walton expressed enthusiasm about getting both players back, suggesting that Bagley was having a career year last season before breaking his hand and calling Hield “one of the most elite shooters” in the NBA.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Veteran center Richaun Holmes told reporters on Tuesday that he never got the feeling during free agency that he wouldn’t be back with the Kings, who “came out of the gate and showed (him) love from the beginning” (Twitter link via Sean Cunningham of ABC10). Holmes also lauded the team’s offseason additions of Davion Mitchell and Tristan Thompson. You add guys like Davion and Tristan Thompson, and a certain attitude comes,” Holmes said of his new teammates (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area). “They bring a certain attitude, a certain swagger and that’s something we’re going to need.”
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams said on Tuesday that Phoenix had been trying to acquire Landry Shamet for two years (Twitter link via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic). Shamet was traded during the 2020 offseason from the Clippers to the Nets, who flipped him to Phoenix last month.
  • Warriors camp invitee Avery Bradley, who said on Tuesday that he believes he “might be the best on-ball defender in the NBA,” has a viable case for a regular season roster spot, according to Kendra Andrews of NBC Bay Area, who writes that Golden State could use Bradley’s presence on defense — even if he may be overstating his own talents.
  • The Warriors are already feeling the effects of Andre Iguodala‘s leadership, says Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody both spoke this week about looking forward to learning from the veteran swingman. “He’s a guy that’s been through it all in the NBA,” Moody said. “So, especially a guy if a guy of his stature is in the perfect position to teach me as a young guy whatever I need, whatever I need to know.”

Pacific Notes: McGee, Kuminga, M. Gasol, Collison

JaVale McGee already has three NBA championship rings and he believes joining the Suns gives him a good chance to get another one, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. McGee chose the defending Western Conference champs in free agency, signing a one-year contract worth $5MM, and he sees his role as a mentor who can contribute valuable minutes as a backup center.

“I feel like my game definitely helps Deandre Ayton in a major way just for the veteran leadership alone,” McGee said. “Also when he gets into foul trouble and having that veteran big to come in that’s 7 foot, block shots, defend, rebound and does all the intangibles that a real big man does.”

McGee has played alongside some elite teammates during his 13-year NBA career, including Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Now he’s looking forward to teaming up with Chris Paul, who transformed Phoenix into a title contender last season.

“Every big man that has ever played with Chris Paul has done well,” McGee said. “I just feel like Chris Paul is definitely the head of the snake and he’s definitely going to lead us to the finals again.” 

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Jonathan Kuminga will need to be versatile to see significant playing time as a rookie, Warriors assistant Kris Weems tells Grant Liffman of NBC Sports. Golden State experimented with Kuminga as a small-ball center during Summer League to see how well he could defend post players. “When you are going to draft a kid that size, and knowing that long term he is going to be bigger and stronger, he may grow a couple inches taller, his versatility because of his size gives him a chance to stay on the floor longer,” Weems said.
  • Marc Gasol came close to signing with the Warriors last summer and could emerge as an option later this season, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Gasol has returned to Spain after being waived by the Grizzlies, but Slater notes that he’s the type of passing big man who performs well in Steve Kerr’s system and he could be tempted to return around midseason if Golden State is in the title hunt. The Warriors still have their taxpayer mid-level exception available, although using it would result in a significant increase in their luxury tax bill.
  • Darren Collison worked out for the Warriors earlier this month and remains an option for the 15th roster spot, but there’s speculation that he’s hoping for a training camp invitation from the Lakers, Slater adds in the same piece.

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Kuminga, Roster Spot, Millsap

The Warriors‘ hopes for becoming title contenders again depend on a full return to health by Klay Thompson, writes Wes Goldberg of The San Jose Mercury News. Management is hoping Thompson can return by Christmas Day after missing the last two seasons with a torn left ACL and then a torn right Achilles tendon.

“With a healthy Klay Thompson, I think we’re right there with everybody,” general manager Bob Myers said. “But I don’t know when, or how, I expect him to come back healthy. I don’t want to put any pressure on the date because it’s not going to be at the start of the season. It’s not going to be the first game.”

Thompson was among the best players in the league before the injuries hit, with five straight All-Star Game appearances and five straight trips to the NBA Finals. During an Instagram broadcast in June, he acknowledged the risks of trying to return too soon.

“I also have to factor in my left knee,” Thompson said, “because I don’t want to come back and be half myself.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Jonathan Kuminga is ready to pursue the NBA dream that drove him to leave the Congo at age 13, per Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Kuminga’s latest step was the Las Vegas Summer League, where he flashed some of the potential that caused the Warriors to scoop him up with the No. 7 pick. “I think he’s going to be one of the best two-way players from this draft class,” said Brian Shaw, who coached Kuminga with the G League Ignite last season. “He has all the tools you’re looking for, and he’s only 18.”
  • Golden State has a roster spot left to fill, but Myers warns that the luxury tax implications of using the taxpayer mid-level exception could force the team to start the season with 14 players, relays Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area“I don’t think we use it,” Myers said on a recent radio interview. “I think we tried, we put it out there for some players we thought were difference-makers. But it’s not wise, and I would almost protect (owner Joe Lacob) from himself if he said go spend it on anyone. It does cost us about $25 million to spend the $5 million, which again I laugh, I know listeners or fans don’t care about that part, but we have to.” 
  • In case you missed it, the Warriors are rumored to be one of the teams interested in free agent forward Paul Millsap, who has spent the past four seasons with the Nuggets.

Warriors Notes: Offseason Overview, MLE, Trades, Team Needs

The Warriors’ offseason, outside of drafting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody in the lottery, may not have been what fans have imagined as the team attempts to regain championship contender status, but it’s not for lack of trying, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

After trying and failing to attract veterans like Nicolas Batum and Patty Mills, the Warriors chose to be judicious with their use of their taxpayer mid-level exception. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, using the exception would end up costing the team an extra $41MM, given its tax situation. In that scenario, Golden State’s payroll and tax bill combined would come out to over $400MM. Instead, the team will rely on jumps in responsibility from players like Jordan Poole and Juan Toscano-Anderson.

Kawakami also writes that the team is unlikely to package Moody and Kuminga in a trade at this point in time.

We have more news from the Warriors:

  • Golden State isn’t actively engaged on any trades at the moment, team president Bob Myers said (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). According to Myers, trade talks are “dormant at this moment in time,” and the league seems to be “on pause” on the trade front.
  • When asked about if the team is done adding veteran free agents, Myers replied, “I think we still need some kind of ballhandling guard. We’re a little thin there” (Twitter link via Slater). While the list of guards left on the market is thin, there are still some interesting options to chose from.
  • Despite being turned down by several targets while trying to use their taxpayer MLE, the Warriors still may utilize it, with the buyout market being a likely target for such a deal, Myers said (Twitter link via Nick Friedell of ESPN).

Warriors Notes: Bjelica, Porter, Poole, Rookies, Iguodala, Kerr

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes that adding veteran forwards Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter in free agency should help make Golden State a better three-point shooting team in 2021/22, as he tells Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

Kerr called the signing of Bjelica “really exciting,” pointing out that the Warriors haven’t really had a floor-spacing, pick-and-pop big man since Marreese Speights, who generally shot from the mid-range rather than from beyond the arc.

“I look at Bjelica as the three-point-shooting version of Mo, in many ways,” Kerr said. “Because all of a sudden, you’re looking at a spaced floor when you consider Klay (Thompson)‘s return and Steph (Curry)‘s play last year. The ability to play Bjelica with Draymond (Green), which basically turns Draymond into the five and the pick-and-roll guy with Bjelica spaced. Really exciting.”

Kerr also praised Porter, referring to him as a player who can guard multiple positions on defense and who isn’t just “going to stand in the corner” on offense.

“The whole thing with Otto is health now,” Kerr told Kawakami. “He feels like he’s healthy and we’re going to give him every opportunity to get himself in shape and in rhythm. If he can return to form, then he’s a really, really interesting player for us. Somebody who could play an important role.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Asked by Kawakami about lineup and rotation decisions to start the season, Kerr predicted that Jordan Poole will be the Warriors’ starting shooting guard until Thompson is ready to play, and said it’s “impossible to say” yet whether either Jonathan Kuminga or Moses Moody will play regular minutes.
  • Kerr recognizes that trading Andre Iguodala in 2019 was necessary in order to get below the hard cap, but is thrilled to have the veteran forward back in Golden State, as Kawakami relays. “I think when we lost him, we lost a piece of our soul,” Kerr said of Iguodala. “… Andre’s return, I think, is huge in a lot of different ways. First, he’s still got plenty to offer, as he showed in Miami the last two seasons. So his addition on the court will be huge for us. And second, he just embodies everything we’re about — versatility, sacrifice, the clear defining of roles, the mentoring that he brings for the younger guys. You throw all that into the equation and Andre is just an enormous addition for us.”
  • Kerr, who won a gold medal in Tokyo as an assistant coach for Team USA, was asked by Kawakami if he’d be interested in becoming the club’s head coach in 2024, assuming Gregg Popovich doesn’t return. His reply: “Of course I’d be interested. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I’ll leave it at that. I have no idea how it will all transpire; there are a lot of great candidates out there. And if I were to be considered, that would be an honor.”
  • The Warriors issued a press release today officially announcing a series of previously-reported additions to Kerr’s coaching staff, including Kenny Atkinson, Dejan Milojevic, and Jama Mahlalela.

Warriors Sign Jonathan Kuminga To Rookie Contract

Seventh overall pick Jonathan Kuminga formally signed his rookie scale contract with the Warriors on Tuesday, per NBA.com’s transactions log.

Kuminga made it official with Golden State a day before making his pro debut at the California Classic Summer League in Sacramento. He scored 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting against Miami’s Summer League squad on Wednesday.

As our breakdown of this year’s rookie scale salaries shows, Kuminga – the No. 7 overall pick in last Thursday’s draft – is projected to earn $5.47MM in his rookie season, assuming he signed for the maximum allowable amount (120% of the rookie scale). His four-year deal will be worth nearly $25MM in total.

The Warriors haven’t made an official announcement yet about signing Kuminga — they’ll likely send out a press release in the coming days to announce his deal and Moses Moody‘s at the same time.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Lacob, Moody, Larranaga

Prior to the draft, the Warriors’ top players were reportedly urging the front office to make a major deal by using assets such the No. 7 and 14 picks in the draft. Golden State ultimately didn’t make a deal, instead drafting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.

Majority owner Joe Lacob said it’s “unlikely” will swing a big deal this offseason, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports. The Warriors don’t want to give up an established star for another one.

“I know this isn’t popular with a lot of people. They think we ought to go get the next star,” Lacob said. “We already have the stars. And we have a payroll that’s — and I’ve said this when I was interviewed before, but nobody listened. It’s very unlikely, I’ve said that we’re not going to trade for anybody that people are expecting. Very unlikely.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • In the same story, Lacob said he’s ecstatic how the draft unfolded. “We’ll probably never have two lottery picks again. If we do, we’ll have a problem,” he said. “The thing that’s most amazing to me is how it worked out. I shouldn’t say where they were on our board, but it’s hard for me not to say it. I’ll just tell you they were both clearly in our top 10. We feel like we got really fortunate on Kuminga. Then with Moody, I think it’s pretty common knowledge we were seriously considering him at seven.”
  • Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson attended Moody’s draft workout, Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. Moody also has the same representative as Draymond Green and they had conversations leading up to the draft.
  • Jay Larranaga is joining Tyronn Lue’s coaching staff with the Clippers, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweetsLarranaga has been Brad Stevens top assistant with the Celtics over the past seven seasons.