Jonathan Kuminga was a draft pick for the future. The No. 7 overall pick has immense potential, but the Warriors know anything they can get from the 18-year-old this season will be gravy.
Kuminga, however, believes he can make an impact in the NBA sooner rather than later, and he knows Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are great assets for any NBA rookie, resources he plans to tap for any and all information.
"I feel like I can impact right away," Kuminga said, after scoring 18 points in his NBA Summer League debut on Wednesday. "Just get ready, just learn all the plays and try to get better. Just try to stay around Steph and Klay and Draymond and learn a lot of stuff real quick, and I feel like I can impact things right away.”
While the selections of Kuminga and Moses Moody weren't viewed as win-now picks, Curry believes both rookies are part of the plan to vault back into title contention as soon as possible.
“The draft picks — love ’em,” Curry, who signed a four-year, $215 million extension with the Warriors on Tuesday, told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. “There’s a lot of potential in terms of trying to implement them early and continue to develop them.
“Yeah, the effort is there. Just being around the conversations that some people are privy to and most people are not — we want to win. And if anybody was not with that, then we’ve got issues. And I don’t think I’d have signed up for five years of that. So that’s the vibe.”
Kuminga scored 18 points on 7-fo-14 shooting in Wednesday's Summer League loss to the Miami Heat in the California Classic. The rookie did have six turnovers, which he knows he has to clean up.
The Warriors were forced to throw James Wiseman into the fire last season, which made his NBA transition more difficult than what Kuminga and Moody will face.
Golden State went into free agency looking to fill out its roster with capable veterans who would compliment Curry, Green and Thompson, when he returns, in a title chase. The Warriors signed Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica, and a reunion with Andre Iguodala still is possible.
After two straight postseasons spent watching the playoffs from their couch, the Warriors are determined to get back into the championship picture this season. If Kuminga can be a sponge around Curry, Green and Thompson, he might be able to play a bigger role than initially expected.
That would be a pleasant surprise for Curry, Green, Thompson and the Warriors.