3 reasons the Warriors could come to regret Jonathan Kuminga lottery pick

The Golden State Warriors made Jonathan Kuminga the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. In hindsight, it probably wasn't the right pick for either side.

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors
Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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Reason Warriors regret Jonathan Kuminga pick: Better options

The final reason is the simplest reason, and it's a chronic issue for every NBA Draft participant. There's almost always a better player who slipped through the cracks. Kuminga has been a perfectly solid player overall, but he's simply nowhere close to the best player who was available to Golden State in the No. 7 slot.

Every draft is a crapshoot. There are too many unknowable factors to count, and even the smartest teams whiff on occasion. That said, there were valid concerns about the Kuminga pick in the moment — concerns that have actualized in the years since.

Kuminga was extremely young when the Warriors picked him. It's generally smart to bet on youth, especially when that youth is combined with outlier athleticism and genuine flashes of skill. But, again, the Warriors are in the middle of their competitive timeframe. Picking a low-floor, high-ceiling prospect in need of several years of slow-burn development wasn't the right decision.

Let's take a brief gander as the names called after Kuminga on 2021 draft night. Franz Wagner was the No. 8 pick to Orlando. He just won gold at the FIBA World Cup and man, would he look awesome in Warriors blue and gold. Wagner is the ultimate modern wing, 6-foot-10 with slick handles, a dynamic slashing game, advanced passing instincts, and all-world defense. He'd be the Warriors' third or fourth-best player next season. Kuminga, not so much.

We can also point to No. 16 pick Alperen Sengun and No. 17 pick Trey Murphy III as obvious misses. Sengun would've imbued the Warriors frontcourt with a potent blend of old-school scoring and team-boosting creation skill. Murphy is one of the NBA's best shooters and a rangy wing defender at 6-foot-9, with breakout potential to boot.

All three would comfortably go before Kuminga in a re-draft. There's lingering star upside with Kuminga, who still possesses a rare blend of youth, strength, explosiveness, and shooting touch, but he's far away from proving himself in a role that's more than complementary. Wagner, Sengun, and Murphy could all credibly start and produce for the Warriors next season, and that includes the playoffs.

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