Warriors

Myers offers early impressions of Kuminga, draft decision

Warriors

Longtime Warriors general manager Bob Myers had a sense of what the process would be like after selecting Jonathan Kuminga with the No. 7 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft. 

Myers knew getting the 6-foot-8, 225-pound teen up to NBA speed wasn’t going to happen overnight. 

And while Golden State doesn’t need him to play much right now, the 19-year-old is slowly but surely beginning to prove himself as a top explosive wing in the near future. 

Myers joined “The Ryen Russillo Podcast” to talk about his thought process of drafting Kuminga and what has impressed him so far from the young rookie. 

“You have to focus on guys that can become stars at the top,” Myers said. “And you might get it right, you might get it wrong. But if you get it right, then all of a sudden three, four, five years down the road you have an All-Star or an All-NBA guy. That is so hard to find that you have to try.” 

With Kuminga turning 19 in October, Myers acknowledged many teens at the forward's age don’t have a lot figured out. 

And even though Kuminga’s physical ability is clear as day, Myers said they are more focused on how young players deal mentally through the big leagues. 

 

“Problem is now that we’re drafting 19-year-olds that have played limited games, you don’t really know who they are work-ethic wise,” Myers said. “You & I at 19 we were probably a mess, to be honest, we didn’t know who we were, our work ethic, how we would deal with money, success, pressure. 

“So that’s the hardest thing we do. It’s not necessarily watching their physical abilities, it’s seeing what they’ll become mentally. That’s I think the biggest challenge.” 

Of course, there will be other bumps along the road. 

Kuminga’s shooting, for instance, has been criticized, and his handles could use some work. 

Luckily for the Warriors, Myers said, those are things that can be improved on through reps and workouts. 

“You can’t get taller, can’t get more athletic, but shooting through reps, you can get better,” Myers said. “We study watching a guy shoot [and] how much do you need to change it. We think Kuminga, the shooting will get better.” 

RELATED: Kuminga showing Warriors he'll play role in championship chase

Kuminga has been back-and-forth between the Warriors and their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz. 

Earlier this month, Kuminga posted a career-high 27 points, grabbed 11 rebounds in 32 minutes for Santa Cruz, and had nearly all of NBA Twitter talking about another one of his monster dunks

Myers also credited his “underrated” defense as he believes Kuminga can guard just about every position, making him “extremely valuable in this modern NBA.” 

And even though the Dubs’ bench has found plenty of success so far this season, Kuminga’s time is coming. 

“If you watched him behind the scenes and saw him… I think he’s going to be a really good player,” Myers said. 

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast