Warriors

What position Kerr, Warriors envision Kuminga playing early on

Warriors
Jonathan Kuminga

Jonathan Kuminga's Summer League performance had several highs and a few lows, but in general, he appeared much closer to being ready to consistently contribute to an NBA team than commonly believed before the Warriors selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Kuminga's perceived rawness was the main reason he fell to Golden State, and though his career is just beginning, it wouldn't be all that surprising if certain teams that picked ahead of the Dubs eventually grew to regret their decisions -- and perhaps not too long from now.

Kuminga is just two days into his first NBA training camp, now practicing alongside Steph Curry and a team that has championship aspirations. Those types of contending teams rarely feature rookies, but given the construct of the Warriors' roster, they might not have any choice. If Kuminga and fellow lottery pick Moses Moody continue to build upon their Summer League performances in training camp, both teenagers could be in the rotation this season. And both certainly figure to be a major part of Golden State's future.

Where exactly does Kuminga fit in with the Warriors? Long term, he has tantalizing potential at multiple positions, but at least in the early going, coach Steve Kerr thinks his best spot will be as a modernized power forward -- with the caveat that he won't be asked to do too much, too soon.

 

"Right away, immediately, he looks like a four because of his power and strength in his body, and ability to guard multiple positions," Kerr told reporters Wednesday. "I think the easiest way for him to make an impact would be as a four, in terms of limiting what he has to do offensively with decision-making, being a dive man, a roll man, a [dribble hand-off] guy, and then being great defensively. 

"So those are the things we want him to work on, and that we'll work on with him. But like I said, we're two days in, so he's got a long way to go. I talked about this yesterday, but Jordan Poole, it's taken him two full years to get to where he is right now, so with Jonathan and Moses, we're at two days. So, this is going to take a long time."

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With Draymond Green expected to get increased minutes as a small-ball center this season, there should opportunities for minutes at the four, and Kuminga is a candidate to take them. Of course, depending on what happens with Andrew Wiggins' availability, the Warriors might need him at the three, too.

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