3 teams who should be trying to save Jonathan Kuminga from the Warriors

There's a good chance Jonathan Kuminga is wearing a new uniform once the trade deadline passes. Where could he end up?

Dec 28, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga (00)
Dec 28, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga (00) / Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next

The Golden State Warriors made the franchise-defining choice to not trade the seventh overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft for a player who could've helped them win now, instead selecting Jonathan Kuminga with that pick. The Warriors selecting and keeping Kuminga led most to believe that the franchise would eventually turn to him to be a major part of their team.

Now in year three of his career, Kuminga's development has stagnated. He's enjoying career-highs in both points (12.8) and rebounds per game (4.1) but after inexcusably being benched for the majority of the second half in Thursday's heartbreaking loss against the Nuggets, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the 21-year-old has "lost faith in head coach Steve Kerr and no longer believes that Kerr will allow him to reach his full potential."

With Kuminga disgruntled and the Warriors just 16-18 on the year, trading the former lottery pick for a player who can help them win now is the path Golden State should pursue. These three teams have the opportunity to save Kuminga from what has become a rough situation for him with the Warriors.

3. The Toronto Raptors can continue to retool by trading for Jonathan Kuminga

The team that makes the most sense is the Toronto Raptors who have already begun retooling their roster by trading OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks. Instead of draft picks, the Raptors received two young players with potential in RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. Barrett and Quickley both showed promise in New York but couldn't fully display their potential with guys like Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle getting a majority of the touches.

The same can be said about a player like Kuminga, who has shown promise this season with Golden State but has been overshadowed by the team's stars. The Raptors can ship another expiring contract in Pascal Siakam to Golden State in a deal that could bring Kuminga to Toronto.

By acquiring Kuminga, the Raptors would be getting a young, athletic forward who can join the likes of Quickley, Barrett, and emerging superstar Scottie Barnes. Instead of trading Siakam for a draft pick or two, they'd get Kuminga who was a top-10 pick just three years ago, and could even get more.

The Raptors trading for Kuminga won't make them better than they are, but it'd certainly set them up better for the future.