Jonathan Kuminga

Why Kuminga calls Draymond's return to Warriors the ‘greatest thing'

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Halfway into his third NBA season, Warriors swingman Jonathan Kuminga finally seems to have found a niche in coach Steve Kerr’s complex rotation. 

Thanks in part to four-time NBA champion Draymond Green’s intermittent absences, the 21-year-old has taken advantage of his growing role this year, averaging career highs in points (14.3), rebounds (4.4) and assists (1.6).

But Kuminga attributes much of his success to Green’s impact when the 33-year-old does play, emphasizing how the veteran’s recent return is valuable to his ongoing ascent.

“[Draymond] being back is just one of the greatest things that can happen to me because he knows the game well, he’s played in this league for a long time,” Kuminga told Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes on Friday. “He has won so many times. So, he knows the game better than I do and he has so much experience ahead of me.

"You see him coming back around and teaching me certain things, telling me things that I need to hear that will help me get better every day. I mean, it helps me a lot.”

SSince the Warriors selected Kuminga at No. 7 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, he has had to wait for his time to shine.

During his first two years in the league, Kuminga played an average of 18.9 minutes per game. So far in the 2023-24 NBA season, No. 00 is seeing a career-high 23.4 minutes per night.

Aside from learning under Green, Kuminga also described how playing with the one-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year fuels him to give extra effort.

“If you see when we play together, [Draymond] just brings the energy and joy in the game that affects me to want to compete higher, to compete harder, to just be at the same level as him, play free and help us win,” Kuminga said.

Partially due to Green, Kuminga offers promise for the inconsistent 19-23 Warriors that sit 12th in the Western Conference, and he has yet to show signs of slowing down.

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