Jonathan Kuminga 'frustrated' over limited Warriors role, rival exec reveals

Rival exec believes JK 'frustrated' by limited Warriors role originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Jonathan Kuminga reportedly desires a bigger role with the Warriors.

The 20-year-old’s season is off to a slow start. Kuminga averaged 10.8 minutes per contest across the Warriors’ first four games and didn’t play a single minute during Golden State’s 123-110 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

“The guy you worry about is Kuminga,” a Western Conference executive told Sean Deveney of “The stuff that was said about him, about his work ethic and all of that, the reality is, he wasn’t playing, and he was frustrated. Everyone knew it last year. With the Warriors, they have been lucky that everyone that they have kind of falls in line. Moody, Wiseman, I think those guys get it. But Kuminga wants to play.

“He has never been in this situation, and it is obviously hard for him,” the executive said. “He could probably average 12, 15 points a game if he played regular minutes. He knows that. But the way the team is built, he has to wait, and it does not seem like waiting is in his DNA.”

Kuminga, the No. 7 overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, is forced into a limited role on a team expected to contend for another championship. He already owns a championship ring but has watched as players drafted around him are putting up big numbers every night.

That list includes Jalen Green, who was selected No. 2 overall of that draft by the Houston Rockets after playing alongside Kuminga with the 2020-21 G League Ignite.

Green is averaging 20.7 points in six games this season while taking nearly 20 field-goal attempts per game for a 1-5 Rockets team. Conversely, Kuminga averages 3.0 points on less than three field-goal attempts per contest for the Western Conference powerhouse Warriors.

“I hope he’s pissed off about it, I hope he’s frustrated because that’s what’s going to make it worth it when it comes his way,” Steph Curry said Thursday night after Kuminga didn’t play. “Even what me, Draymond and Klay went through our first couple of years. I got a couple of DNPs my rookie year. There are guys who are who we are now just having been patient and just kept our heads down in the beginning of our careers.

“To see the now-product, it’s hard to tell somebody like 12 years ago, we went through a similar situation. but that’s all you can do. Keep preaching that, that’s how the league works and things change really quickly. He’s put in a lot of great work and he’s playing for a coach who’s really going to maintain that your time is coming. We’ve all gone through it.

“His time is going to come.”

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Before the Warriors’ clash against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, coach Steve Kerr addressed Kuminga’s role.

“He’s in a very similar boat to where [Kevon] Looney was, where Jordan was,” Kerr said. It just takes time to learn everything thats coming at you and to develop. The difference is we’re coming off a championship right now. When Jordan came on board, he was thrust into the rotation. He wasn’t ready for it, and that showed. We’re the defending champs, so there’s not a lot of easy minutes to give to anybody.

“As long as JK keeps working, keeps developing, things are going to work out fine for him. He’s going to get his chance, usually sooner rather than later in this league.”

It will be interesting to monitor Kuminga’s role Saturday when the Warriors visit Charlotte.

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