Jonathan Kuminga’s defense is becoming crucial to the Warriors

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Jonathan Kuminga joined the Golden State Warriors as the 7th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft after the team’s injury-ridden downfall. As a lottery pick, the expectations for Kuminga, who dazzled fans with his athleticism during his G League career, were high right from the start. Last season, in the Warriors’ rise back to the top, he had some big playoff games but found himself struggling to get minutes again at the start of this season.

The reason for this is simple: It is hard to develop a young player on a championship team, especially on a dynasty like the Warriors that features veteran superstars like Stephen Curry, who will always be the team’s focal point for as long as he is there.

On the Warriors’ stacked roster, Kuminga can learn from some of the greatest players in the NBA right now. Particularly Draymond Green, who is the team’s defensive anchor, and Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson, who usually take on the toughest perimeter assignments for the starting lineup, have plenty of wisdom to share with the young defensive talent.

Playing time, however, is not a privilege on such a strong team. It is earned through hard work, and even then, it might be taken away again. On a bad team, Kuminga would have much more room to experiment with his athleticism and offense, but with the Warriors, he cannot afford to be anything other than solid in his role. It seems like Kuminga has figured out what his role is now and how to solidify his spot on the roster, though.