Jonathan Kuminga

Pacific Notes: Paul, Kuminga, Warriors, Eubanks, K. Brown

Appearing on ESPN’s NBA Today on Wednesday (YouTube link), Warriors head coach Steve Kerr discussed the addition of point guard Chris Paul and what he can bring to the team, highlighting Golden State’s turnover issues in 2022/23 and the future Hall-of-Famer’s ability to take care of the basketball.

As Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes, Paul has never come off the bench in his lengthy career. Following Team USA’s practice on Friday, Kerr brushed aside that topic, noting that it will be a matter for a future date.

I think that’ll be a case where you get three weeks of training camp before that first game,” Kerr said. “We’ll just look at all kinds of different combinations.

The main thing is we know all those guys are gonna play a lot of minutes. But the luxury of having Chris Paul to add to this group that we’ve been lucky enough to have for a decade … pretty remarkable. He is one of the great competitors in the game. He’s one of the great point guards of all time. I think he’s a great addition for us, because of his ability to control games, control tempo, take care of the ball.”

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga believes he’s primed for a breakout season in 2023/24, he told Leonard Solms of ESPN at the Basketball Without Borders camp in South Africa. “This upcoming season is definitely the year,” Kuminga said. “A lot of people are expecting so much from me – and myself; I’m expecting a lot. It’s a lot of pressure, but I don’t really pay attention to the noise. The pressure is always going to be there. It’s just [on] me to go out there and perform.” The former lottery pick also discussed mentoring his fellow African countrymen and the importance he places on “growing as a person,” per Solms.
  • What can the Suns expect from free agent addition Drew Eubanks? Gerald Bourguet explores that question in detail for PHNX Sports, writing that the big man’s shot blocking, mobility, foot work, athletic finishing, solid screening, and physicality are positive traits he’ll bring to his new club.
  • The Clippers selected former Missouri forward Kobe Brown with the 30th overall pick in June’s draft. They’ve been impressed with Brown’s versatility and willingness to make winning plays, according to Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times. “He can do a lot of things without having the ball in his hands, as you saw,” Summer League coach Dahntay Jones said. “…He can do a bunch of different things to complement the cast that we have already. He knows he’s a basketball player first. He doesn’t hang his hat on scoring. He hangs his hat on having a positive effect on the game of basketball.”

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Murray, Fox, Clippers, Preston

On a recent episode of Podcast P with Paul George (YouTube link), Draymond Green said new point guard Chris Paul will help stabilize the Warriors‘ second unit and “unlock” one of the team’s former lottery picks.

“CP can anchor that unit…and I think that is a big thing to helping unlock our team again…I’ll tell you one more thing that I think it unlocks and I look forward to learning this from him; I think Chris Paul will completely unlock Jonathan Kuminga and his growth. CP is great with young guys,” Green said (hat tip to HoopsHype).

The Warriors are trading Jordan Poole, Ryan Rollins, Patrick Baldwin, a top-20 protected 2030 first-round pick, and a 2027 second round pick to the Wizards for Paul. The deal isn’t official yet but likely will be tomorrow once the free agency moratorium lifts.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Kings forward Keegan Murray is once again shining in Summer League action. As he prepares for his sophomore season, the first-team All-Rookie member is working with star guard De’Aaron Fox on a daily basis, writes Hunter Patterson of The Athletic. “I’ve been with him every single day so far this summer,” Murray said. “We play one-on-one three, four times a week so that’s helped me a lot in different areas on the court.” For those curious, Murray said he has yet to beat Fox one-on-one, though he’s come “very close.”
  • Additional trades could still be in the works, but it appears as though the Clippers‘ free agency work is done, according to Law Murray of The Athletic, who examines the team’s moves this offseason. With 16 players on standard contracts and Jason Preston on a non-guaranteed deal (it will be guaranteed July 18), the young guard’s performance during Summer League will be critical for his future with the team, says Murray.
  • Speaking of Preston, he said he underwent LASIK eye surgery and had another procedure to fix a deviated septum, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. The 23-year-old former second-round pick missed his entire rookie season after foot surgery and appeared in just 14 games with the Clippers in 2022/23.

Warriors Rumors: Green, DiVincenzo, Kuminga, Poole, Paul, Thompson

The Warriors are optimistic about re-signing Draymond Green and have been discussing a three-year deal with his representatives, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype and Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Slater says trading for Chris Paul was a win-now move that the team wouldn’t have made without a level of confidence that Green will return. He projects a new contract for Green starting close to the range of the $27.6MM player option that he declined, but adds that every $1MM the Warriors can save is important because of their inflated tax bill.

There may not have been a realistic market for Green in free agency, Scotto adds. The Kings were floated as a possibility because their head coach is former Warriors assistant Mike Brown, but Scotto points out that they’re hoping to sign Kyle Kuzma and had to work out a new deal with Harrison Barnes. The Pistons and Grizzlies were also mentioned, but Slater states that Memphis dropped out of consideration with the Marcus Smart trade.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Donte DiVincenzo is expected to sign elsewhere and may be able to land a non-taxpayer MLE, which would be more than twice what Golden State can offer him, according to Scotto. Sources tell C.J. Holmes of The San Franciso Chronicle that the Knicks have emerged as the favorite to land DiVincenzo, who prefers to play on the East Coast and is hoping to receive a contract starting at $9-12MM. However, Scotto isn’t convinced that DiVincenzo would be a good fit in New York considering the number of guards already on the roster.
  • The Pacers were among the teams that inquired on Jonathan Kuminga, offering mainly draft assets in return, sources tell Scotto. Slater also cites interest from the Raptors and says Golden State began asking about OG Anunoby before the trade deadline. However, Slater doesn’t believe the Warriors have been shopping Kuminga, saying the organization still has confidence in him and he’ll likely be on the team when next season begins.
  • The decision to part with Jordan Poole in the trade for Paul was necessary to unload his contract, but coach Steve Kerr welcomed the chance to move on from a player who was fourth in the league in turnovers last season and often took poor shots, Slater states. Slater envisions Paul as the leader of the second unit, helping to develop young players such as Kuminga and Moses Moody.
  • Getting rid of Poole’s contract increases the chances for a Klay Thompson extension, according to Slater. Paul’s $30MM salary for 2024/25 is non-guaranteed, so more long-term money is available for Thompson. Slater doesn’t believe the Warriors have started negotiating a salary with Thompson yet, but he expects the veteran guard will have to accept a reduction from his current $43MM.

Fischer’s Latest: Hunter, Pistons, Collins, Jazz, Poole, Herro

The Hawks didn’t end up making any major moves on draft day, but they continue to explore potential trade options around the league, writes Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

According to Fischer, in addition to having talked to Indiana about a possible deal involving forward De’Andre Hunter, the Hawks also had “significant” discussions with the Pistons about a trade that would have sent the 25-year-old to Detroit.

Hunter isn’t the only Hawks forward whose name is popping up in trade talks this week. Fischer says Atlanta has also been active on the John Collins front, re-engaging the Jazz in conversations about the big man who has been consistently mentioned in trade rumors for multiple years. However, it doesn’t sound like the two sides gained serious traction in those negotiations.

Here’s more from Fischer’s post-draft report for Yahoo Sports:

  • Before agreeing to trade Jordan Poole to Washington, the Warriors also talked to the Celtics and Spurs about him, writes Fischer. Boston moved forward with its Kristaps Porzingis deal instead, while San Antonio “never made a significant offer” for Poole, according to Fischer, who adds that Golden State also had “serious” talks with the Pacers about a deal involving the No. 7 overall pick and Jonathan Kuminga.
  • Given that the Wizards were making it in a point in most of their trade discussions not to take back any long-term money, some opposing executives have wondered if they intend to flip Poole to another team, says Fischer. However, sources tell Yahoo Sports that the Warriors are under the impression that Washington plans to keep the high-scoring guard.
  • Golden State’s trade of Poole has increased speculation among rival executives that the Heat may take a similar path and look to deal Tyler Herro sooner rather than later, per Fischer. Herro didn’t play a role in Miami’s run to the NBA Finals this spring due to a hand injury, and his four-year $120MM+ contract is very similar to Poole’s.
  • People around the NBA think there may be some “atypical” trade activity before the start of free agency, according to Fischer. The new CBA will take effect in July, so teams may want to take advantage of certain old rules – like the ability of tax-apron teams to take back up to 125% of the salaries they send out in trades – before they expire.

Hawks, Pacers Active On Trade Market As De’Andre Hunter Deal Breaks Down

The Hawks are working to shake up their roster, but a potential deal with the Pacers appears to have fallen apart after the teams were moving toward an agreement Tuesday night, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Atlanta would have sent De’Andre Hunter to Indiana in the proposed trade, sources tell Fischer. Although more details on the deal aren’t available, the Hawks reportedly want to move into the top 10 in the draft. Sources tell Fischer that the Pacers weren’t willing to part with the No. 7 pick to acquire Hunter.

Fischer adds that Indiana is in the market for a starting forward, and he hears that the team has reached out to the Warriors about Jonathan Kuminga. He adds that the Pacers may wait until free agency and target players such as Harrison Barnes, Kyle Kuzma and Grant Williams.

The Hawks are among the league’s most active teams in pre-draft trade talks, according to Fischer. He states that Hunter appears to be involved in most of the deals, but John Collins, Dejounte Murray and Clint Capela could be available as well.

Sources tell Fischer that Dallas might be open to trading the No. 10 pick in a package involving Atlanta’s No. 15 selection, depending on who’s still left on the board. Fischer hears that the Mavericks‘ willingness to move down may change if Cam Whitmore or Taylor Hendricks is still available.

The Hawks made several offers to the Raptors for Pascal Siakam, including at least one three-team deal, sources tell Fischer. Rival teams believe Toronto’s high asking price is the biggest impediment to a deal for either Siakam or OG Anunoby.

The Raptors seem to be considering moves both up and down the draft board, Fischer adds. He hears from sources that Toronto, which holds the No. 13 pick, has talked to the Magic about No. 11, the Warriors about No. 19 and the Nets, who have Nos. 21 and 22.

Trade Rumors: Lakers, Kuminga, Nets, LaVine, Raptors

There has been growing buzz in recent days that the Lakers are increasingly more likely to trade their first-round pick (No. 17) than to keep it, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. In his latest story, Buha explores all the possibilities in play for Los Angeles, including hanging onto the pick, trading out of the draft, or trading down.

As Buha writes, the idea of the Lakers packaging the No. 17 pick with Malik Beasley ($16.5MM team option) and/or Mohamed Bamba ($10.3MM) to acquire a starter-caliber player appears more viable than ever. League sources say that Pacers center Myles Turner and sharpshooter Buddy Hield, Nets wings Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale, and Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. are among the players who have been linked to the Lakers.

While it sounds less likely than trading down or out of the draft, Buha says the Lakers have at least considered the possibility of trying to move up from No. 17. Dereck Lively and Kobe Bufkin are among the prospects the club likes, a source tells The Athletic.

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • Addressing a report from last week that suggested the Warriors have explored moving up in the draft using Jonathan Kuminga, Anthony Slater of The Athletic provides some additional context, writing that rumor stemmed from an inbound call from a lottery team that has long been interested in Kuminga. Multiple sources tell Slater that Golden State isn’t shopping the young forward.
  • While the lottery team that called the Warriors about Kuminga is unknown, it’s worth noting that Slater uses the Pacers as an example in his discussion of that scenario. Additionally, when ESPN updated its mock draft on Wednesday (subscription required), Jonathan Givony added Kuminga to the list of forwards the Pacers may explore acquiring via trade.
  • In the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast (YouTube link), ESPN’s Zach Lowe said the Nets‘ asking prices for forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale have been high. Brooklyn is seeking “real first-round pick equity” for those players, not just looking to move up a few spots in the draft, according to Lowe.
  • Despite reports that they’re gauging his trade market, the Bulls continue to value Zach LaVine very highly, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, who hears from one league source that the team would seek a good young player, multiple first-round picks, and salary filler if LaVine is moved. Another league source thinks a single first-rounder might be sufficient if the Bulls could get an “established, high-end” player back.
  • Toronto has been involved in a series of trade rumors so far this offseason, but a pair of sources who spoke to Michael Grange of indicated that they wouldn’t be surprised if the Raptors don’t do anything drastic. “What I’m hearing now is they’re not going to trade from their core,” one source told Grange.

Warriors Determined To Retain Draymond Green

The Warriors don’t plan to let Draymond Green walk without making a substantial push to retain him. Green is declining his $27.5MM option for next season so that he can become an unrestricted free agent.

New GM Mike Dunleavy Jr.. said during his introductory press conference on Monday that the Warriors are committed to keeping Green, Janie McCauley of The Associated Press reports.

“Until we get the paperwork and the filing we can’t really comment or say much,” Dunleavy said. “I will say it – I think Steve (Kerr) has said it, I’ll reiterate – we really want Draymond back. What he means to this organization and this team in terms of trying to win at the highest level, we feel like we have to have him. So that’s very important.”

Owner Joe Lacob said the “good overwhelms the bad” when it comes to Green and the controversies he’s been involved in, including punching teammate Jordan Poole just before last season began.

“He’s a bit of a controversial player perhaps in some corners around the league, certain things that have happened over the years. He knows that. We know that. But the good overwhelms the bad is what I would say,” Lacob said, adding, “I think if he does come back that he will be very important to our success certainly going forward in the next few years.”

Here’s more from Dunleavy’s first press conference as the Warriors’ new head of basketball operations:

  • Lacob indicated that he didn’t consider outside candidates to replace former top executive Bob Myers, ESPN’s Kendra Andrews relays. Dunleavy Jr. has been in the Warriors’ organization since 2018. He became VP of basketball operations in 2021. “Did I interview other people? No, not really. We didn’t go outside,” Lacob said. “We believe in continuity. We believe we have a really well-oiled machine, a well-running organization. Mike gets along fabulously with all the parties inside.”
  • Regarding Poole, his four-year, $125MM extension kicks in next season and Dunleavy said he’s not looking to deal the guard, despite his disappointing 2022/23 season. There are also questions about whether Green and Poole can continue to coexist.
  • Dunleavy believes Jonathan Kuminga can make more of an impact with expanding playing time, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets in a video clip. “Obviously, a lot of rumors come up this time of year but we’re happy with those guys (Poole and Kuminga),” Dunleavy said.
  • Dunleavy added “you’re always running things by” Stephen Curry but Curry is more concerned with working on his game than influencing roster decisions, Slater relays via another video clip.

Scotto’s Latest: VanVleet, Anunoby, Middleton, DiVincenzo, G. Williams

New head coach Ime Udoka’s desire to land a veteran point guard makes the Rockets a strong contender for Fred VanVleet in free agency, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Houston will be part of a large group of teams expected to pursue VanVleet, who remains open to re-signing with the Raptors, Scotto adds.

The Suns expressed interest in VanVleet the last time he was a free agent, Scotto notes. Chris Paul appears to be on the way out of Phoenix, as Scotto’s sources say the team has discussed a number of trade scenarios, including a proposed deal reported Saturday that would send him to Washington as part of a package for Bradley Beal.

The Lakers would also like to add VanVleet, according to Scotto, but would probably need to work out a sign-and-trade with the Raptors to make it happen. That would require Toronto to have interest in D’Angelo Russell, who is also a free agent.

VanVleet has also been linked to the Magic because president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman previously worked in Toronto, but Scotto cites skepticism that Orlando is ready to make a big free agent move while the core of the team is still young.

Scotto passes along more inside information:

  • The Grizzlies are a team to watch if the Raptors decide to part with OG Anunoby, Scotto states. Memphis is offering future first-round draft picks to add a wing player, according to Scotto’s sources, and Anunoby would be an attractive target if he becomes available. Scotto notes that the Grizzlies were willing to give four first-round picks to Brooklyn in February for Mikal Bridges, and the need for wing help has increased with Dillon Brooks not expected back next season.
  • League executives tell Scotto that they expect Khris Middleton to re-sign with the Bucks for about $130MM over four years if he turns down his $40.4MM player option. Milwaukee is hoping to re-sign Brook Lopez as well, Scotto adds, but the veteran center will likely get an offer from the Rockets.
  • Donte DiVincenzo is expected to turn down his $4.7MM player option and receive better offers than the Warriors can match. One executive told Scotto that DiVincenzo is likely to be offered the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which is well above the four-year, $23.2MM deal that Golden State can give him due to cap restrictions. Scotto hears that the Warriors have also received interest in Jonathan Kuminga from several teams that believe he can be more successful with an increased role.
  • The Mavericks have expressed interest in Celtics free agent forward Grant Williams, who has the same agent as Luka Doncic, sources tell Scotto. Dallas has also considered bringing back former Maverick Harrison Barnes, Scotto adds.
  • League executives expect the Bulls to re-sign center Nikola Vucevic, likely for about $65MM over three years, according to Scotto.

Spears: Draymond Green Expected To Decline Player Option

Warriors forward Draymond Green is expected to decline his $27,586,224 player option for 2023/24 and enter unrestricted free agency, Marc J. Spears of ESPN reported on NBA Today (video link).

I’m told that (new general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr.) has already met with Steph Curry and Draymond Green. The Warriors expect Draymond Green to opt out of the final year of his contract, I’m being told, but … the Warriors are going to do everything in their power, if he does as expected, to bring him back,” Spears said.

The television segment was centered on the impact of Dunleavy’s promotion ahead of a critical offseason. Spears hears it’s been a “smooth transition” thus far, citing the executive’s “strong relationship” with head coach Steve Kerr and his long NBA history as a former player. Spears added that the Warriors are fielding trade calls for Jonathan Kuminga and Jordan Poole.

The 2016/17 Defensive Player of the Year, Green is arguably the best defender of his generation, earning All-Defensive nods in eight of the past nine seasons, including ’22/23. He has been a critical member of Golden State’s dynastic run over that span, winning four championships to go along with four All-Star berths and two All-NBA selections.

That’s not to say Green’s time with the Warriors has been without controversy. He’s often among the league leaders in technical fouls, punched Poole before training camp started last fall, and was suspended for one game in the playoffs after an incident with Kings center Domantas Sabonis, among other prior transgressions.

The 33-year-old averaged 8.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 6.8 APG, 1.0 SPG and 0.8 BPG on .527/.307/.713 shooting in 73 regular season games (31.5 MPG) this past season. The Warriors won the title in 2022, but lost their second-round playoff series against the Lakers last month.

Green has spent his entire 11-year career with Golden State, the team that selected him 35th overall in 2012. He will become one of the top names on the open market if he does indeed decline the option.

Draft Rumors: Trades, Hornets, Blazers, Whitmore, Pistons, Mavs, More

The Lakers, Warriors, Nets, Grizzlies, and Pacers are among the teams with draft picks in the back half of the first round who are believed to be exploring trade scenarios, Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo report within their latest mock draft for (Insider link).

According to Givony, the Lakers are especially interested in talking to teams that hold multiple picks, which suggests they may be open to trading down from No. 17 in order to acquire an extra selection or two. The Warriors are looking into the possibility of moving up from No. 19 by moving a young player like Jonathan Kuminga, sources tell ESPN.

The Nets, who hold the Nos. 21 and 22 picks, are investigating whether they might be able to move into the lottery or the middle of the first round by packaging those two selections, according to Givony, who says Memphis (No. 25) is another team seeking opportunities to move into the late lottery or mid-first round.

As for the Pacers, they have a lottery pick at No. 7 and are thought to be interested in adding an “explosive, defensive-minded power forward,” so Givony has them selecting Jarace Walker in that spot, noting that Ausar Thompson and Taylor Hendricks are also very much on their radar. Indiana also controls the 26th, 29th, and 32nd overall picks and has been engaged in trade discussions about those selections. It seems unlikely the club will use all of them, per Woo.

Here’s more from ESPN’s two draft experts:

  • Scoot Henderson had a “highly impressive” workout with the Hornets over the weekend, but Brandon Miller still looks like the favorite to be the pick at No. 2, says Givony. If a team like the Pelicans were willing to include an impact player such as Brandon Ingram in an offer for the second overall pick, that could shake up the top of the draft, but it’s still too early to say whether that’s a realistic possibility, according to Givony.
  • While the Trail Blazers continue to explore trade opportunities at No. 3 and have done due diligence by working out prospects outside of the consensus top three, they seem content to select either Henderson or Miller if they hang onto the pick, Givony reports.
  • Villanova forward Cam Whitmore is receiving consideration from the Rockets at No. 4 and is viewed as one of the leading candidates to be drafted there, along with Amen Thompson, says Woo. If he’s not picked fourth overall, Whitmore seems like a good bet to go fifth, Givony writes, given the makeup of the Pistons‘ roster.
  • Givony suggests that a trade of Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic for Mavericks wing Tim Hardaway Jr. and the No. 10 pick is one scenario that could be “in play.” Based on Givony’s wording, it’s unclear whether that offer has been put on the table by either team or if it has even been seriously considered. But the specific terms suggest it has at least been discussed.
  • Arkansas guard Anthony Black has worked out – or will work out – for several lottery teams, including the Magic (Nos. 6 and 11), Jazz (Nos. 9 and 16), and Mavericks (No. 10), says Woo. The ESPN mock has Black being drafted at No. 8 by the Wizards, who are said to be focused primarily on backcourt players.
  • The Raptors are believed to be a “strong suitor” for Kansas wing Gradey Dick, according to Givony, though there’s also speculation that Toronto could be major movers on the trade market and might not end up picking at No. 13.
  • The Jazz (Nos. 9 and 16) and Thunder (No. 12) sent decision-makers to Europe this week to watch French wing Bilal Coulibaly in the LNB Pro A playoffs, according to Woo, who has Coulibaly coming off the board at No. 14 to the Pelicans in ESPN’s mock.