Lacob touts JK's ‘unlimited' ceiling, praises ‘tremendous' rookies

Lacob touts JK's ‘unlimited' ceiling, praises ‘tremendous' rookies originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

A prominent figure within the Warriors organization is full of praise for Golden State’s young core and the evaluators behind identifying and drafting them.

During an interview with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show," Warriors CEO Joe Lacob raved about Golden State’s 21-year-old forward Joanthan Kuminga, who he sees as a player who is capable of achieving everything and anything in the NBA.

“Draymond’s suspension, as he said in his comments the other day, ironically, may have, long-term, made us better in an odd sort of way because JK got to get the leash taken off and play,” Lacob told Kawakami. “And he’s been fantastic. He’s just been tremendous. He’s a monster. If he continues to play like this, which I think he will and get better at 21 years old, his future is unlimited.”

Kuminga is in the midst of a breakout season in the Bay, averaging 15.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 50 games played in his third season with the Warriors, cementing himself as an immovable player within the organization moving forward.

To Lacob, similar to Kuminga, the Warriors’ 2023 NBA Draft rookies, consisting of guard Brandin Podziemski and forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, are also worth highlighting.

After all, the Warriors CEO sees Podziemski, who is a major cog in Steve Kerr’s system, as one of the more promising rookie talents that the NBA currently has to offer.

“And our two rookies have been tremendous,” Lacob added. “I really got to give credit to all of our scouts: Mike and Kirk, all of those guys, and Ken. We nailed it in this draft. I mean, we did really well. I think Brandin Podziemski in particular, honestly, is a All-Rookie team [player]. Top five guy in the league.

“I don’t think there’s any question about that at this point. And he has got the chance to be an All-Star kind of level player at some point. He is 20 years old. He does things at 20 years old that are just remarkable.

“He is setting records, frankly, for various things you’ve seen that haven’t happened in 40 years in the NBA. Without getting overly effusive – me, I tend to do that – but I just think this guy is tremendous.”

And while Jackson-Davis continues to find his footing in the league, Lacob knows that when the time comes for him to assume a major role on the court, the Indiana product will shine.

“I think Trayce, you know, once he gets the real opportunity to play,” Lacob said. “He’s got to learn too under the other guys [which] takes a while. But when he’s been in there, like the other night, he showed great. He’s a great fit for this team. So we did really well on the draft, too.”

With a rapidly rising Kuminga, a promising Podziemski, a developing Jackson-Davis and an effective scouting department all at his disposal, it’d be difficult for the Warriors CEO – anyone, really –  to not be optimistic about the franchise’s future.

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