Warriors

Jonathan Kuminga joining 2021 NBA Draft class is great for Warriors

Jonathan Kuminga joining 2021 NBA Draft class is great for Warriors

The Warriors aren't included in the Orlando bubble, reportedly don't have interest in participating in the still-to-be-confirmed Chicago bubble and likely won't play in another game until sometime in 2021 at the earliest.

And yet, Wednesday was a great day for Golden State.

That's because Jonathan Kuminga, who previously was ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2021 class, reclassified to the 2020 high school class Wednesday and will sign in the NBA's pro pathway program in the G League. The Athletic's Shams Charania was the first to report.

What does that have to do with the Warriors? Well, a lot can change between now and then, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that Golden State could select Kuminga in the very early stages of the 2021 NBA Draft.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Warriors, of course, received the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected 2021 first-round draft pick as part of the Andrew Wiggins-D'Angelo Russell trade. If the Timberwolves' pick ends up being one of the first three overall selections, the pick conveys to the 2022 NBA Draft and becomes unprotected.

The 2021 draft class has long been viewed as far more talented than the upcoming 2020 draft class, for which the Dubs are guaranteed to have a top-five pick. Assuming the T-Wolves don't surprise and become a playoff team, the Warriors could have an extremely valuable selection in a loaded draft.

It just became more loaded Wednesday with Kuminga's inclusion.

Since the earliest the Warriors could pick in the 2021 draft with the Timberwolves' selection would be No. 4 overall, the more high-end prospects that join the class, the more likely Golden State is to have one of them fall in its laps. Kuminga, along with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley are widely viewed as can't-miss prospects, and obviously, they can't all go within the top three.

[RELATED: How Jalen Green to G League impacts Warriors, 2021 draft]

So, if the Warriors end up holding onto Minnesota's 2021 first-rounder, it would appear they are in a tremendous position to add a prospect that undoubtedly would have gone first overall in the upcoming 2020 draft. And if they don't, but rather include it in some sort of a trade package to acquire an established star, the value of that pick just went up.

The Warriors are intent on returning to championship-contender status while simultaneously building for the future. Kuminga's reclassification can only improve their chances of being successful in that endeavor. 

NBA G League Walnut Creek team inspires creative names on Twitter

NBA G League Walnut Creek team inspires creative names on Twitter

The Warriors left Oakland last year for San Francisco, and a new professional basketball team is on its way to the Bay Area

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Monday that Walnut Creek will host the NBA G League's Pro Pathway team. 

With the news hitting social media Monday, the real question is, what will this team be named? Let me interject. 

That team is better left for Atherton. Here are some better, more creative, names for Walnut Creek's future G League team. 

Walnut Creek's team will be headlined by top prospect Jalen Green, who played his high school ball locally at Napa's Prolific Prep. Oakland native Brian Shaw, who served as an analyst for Warriors coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area last season, was named head coach.

[RELATED: Why Warriors GM Myers got Forrest Gump nickname at UCLA]

The team originally was going to be based in Southern California, but plans changed. It also is unclear how the coronavirus pandemic will impact how Walnut Creek competes against the rest of the NBA G League franchises.

If they are allowed to safely attend games, though, Warriors general manager Bob Myers should be spending plenty of time in Walnut Creek next season.

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What Warriors' Steve Kerr learned about Andrew Wiggins from Tom Thibodeau

What Warriors' Steve Kerr learned about Andrew Wiggins from Tom Thibodeau

The Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins from the Minnesota Timberwolves just before the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline.

Shortly thereafter, Tom Thibodeau -- who coached Wiggins for multiple seasons in Minnesota -- visited Golden State's facility in San Francisco.

Naturally, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was able to pick Thibs' brain.

“We had just traded for Andrew Wiggins and he was really helpful,’’ Kerr told Marc Berman of The New York Post over the weekend. “I had a long conversation with [Thibodeau] about Andrew.

"He gave me some good advice on ways to connect with Andrew, how much he enjoyed coaching him and why."

The chat certainly helped.

Wiggins averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.3 steals over 12 games with the Dubs, while shooting nearly 46 percent overall and 34 percent from deep.

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“He showed some X’s and O’s and went over some actions they ran for [Wiggins],” Kerr said. “Some of the things they were trying to do."

The Warriors' coaching staff was very pleased with what they saw from the 25-year-old in a short amount of time, and are confident he will thrive playing alongside Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

[RELATED: Why Hardaway believes Wiggins trade was great for Warriors]

Wiggins fills a need on the wing, and the goal is for him to become a lock-down defender.

"I was particularly pleased with his defense, especially on the ball," assistant coach Ron Adams told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami in early June. "I just thought he did a really good job. And against the best players in the league, he really enjoys playing against them and actually picks his game up when he did play against those guys.

“The sky’s the limit for this guy."

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