Will Warriors trade Jonathan Kuminga? Forward reportedly at odds with coach Steve Kerr after benching

The state of the Warriors has quickly devolved from bad to worse. As the team looks to find its way, it appears that former lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga may be ready to move on.

According to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Anthony Slater, Kuminga “has lost faith” in head coach Steve Kerr. The news comes less than 12 hours after the Warriors blew an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter and gave up a game-winning 3-pointer to Nikola Jokic at the end of regulation.

Noticeably absent on the floor during the game’s final moments was Kuminga, who, after scoring 16 points in his first 19 minutes of action, did not return to the game after being subbed out with 5:48 remaining in the third quarter. He finished the three-point loss as a plus-six in the box score.

Kuminga is coming into his own this season. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is averaging a career-best 12.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field.

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Coming into the NBA, Kuminga was viewed as an explosive athlete with game-changing potential on both ends of the floor. As the Warriors work to usher in a new era of basketball, the 21-year-old is a logical choice to assume more responsibilities, but according to Kerr, circumstance is what sometimes prevents that from being the case.

“He was playing great,” Kerr said when asked about Kuminga’s minutes. “His normal time to go back in would have been around the five-, six-minute mark (of the fourth).

“(Andrew Wiggins) was playing great, we were rolling, we’re up 18, 19, whatever it was. So we just stayed with him. Then at that point, it didn’t feel like the right thing to do. He had been sitting for a while. So I stayed with the group that was out there, and obviously, we couldn’t close it out.”

After the game, TNT’s Charles Barkley didn’t hold back on his view of the Warriors’ issues as he doubled down on his opening-night assertion that the franchise is doomed.

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“When I said on the first night that this team is cooked — they were cooked and they still are,” Barkley said. “They’re not gonna make the playoffs. … The problem with the Warriors — and I said it three years ago — if these young guys can’t play, they’re done. That was (James) Wiseman and Kuminga.

… I still have a little hope for Kuminga, I thought he’d be further along … it’s too late now. They should have been doing it the last couple of years because (Draymond Green’s) not the same, Klay (Thompson) is not the same and Steph (Curry) can’t be consistent at his age to cover up all their weaknesses.”

Golden State fell to 16-18 on the season following its loss to Denver and is currently on the outside looking in at the Western Conference Play-In picture. It’s a small sample size, but worth noting that the Warriors are 5-3 when Kuminga sees 26 minutes of playing time or more this season.

And while it would appear that more minutes for Kuminga would be the solution, there is still overlap between him and Wiggins, and Green’s imminent return from suspension would seemingly complicate matters even more.

If things do get as complicated as they seem, perhaps a fresh start is exactly what Kuminga needs to reach his potential.

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Jonathan Kuminga stats

  • 22.1 minutes per game
  • 12.8 points per game
  • 4.1 rebounds per game
  • 1.4 assists per game
  • 50.6 percent field goal shooting
  • 28.0 percent 3-point field goal shooting
  • 68.8 percent free throw shooting
  • 1.4 turnovers per game

Jonathan Kuminga contract

Kuminga is in the third year of a four-year rookie scale contract tied to being the No. 7 pick in 2021. The Warriors have exercised the third and fourth year of Kuminga’s deal.

While he is currently slated to become a restricted free agent in 2025, Kuminga will be extension-eligible during the 2024 offseason.

Year Salary
2023-24 $6,012,840
2024-25 $7,636,307
2025 RFA

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