Andrew Wiggins and D’Angelo Russell trade continues to pay dividends for the Golden State Warriors. Not only did they get the better player, but they also received the number seven pick in the trade, which they used to draft Jonathan Kuminga. It appears former teammate Draymond Green is a fan. The former Defensive Player of the Year had high praise for the rookie following their loss to the Charlotte Hornets late Sunday night.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he can check just about anybody. He has the size, has the strength, has the quickness, has the length. Everything you want in a defender, he kind of has. So he’s going to be a helluva defender. As he figures out angles and figures out what guys like to get to, all those different things, he’ll continue to get better and better.”Draymond Green
A six-time member of the All-Defensive team, Draymond knows a thing or two about stopping opponents from putting the ball in the basket. As a defensive-minded forward, Kuminga couldn’t ask for a better mentor coming into the league.
“I love that he’s taking on those challenges. You’ll see some guys shy away in moments like that. He’s not shying away from those challenges at all. And it’s beautiful to see.”Draymond Green
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry also applauded Kuminga’s defensive effort in practice. While Allen Iverson would scold the idea of giving such high praise for a practice run, Steph is no tough cover regardless of the stakes.
“Even though I get him sometimes, he’s blocked my shot a bunch of times from the perimeter. Because he has such a long wingspan, and he’s pretty capable of moving a lot of different directions with his feet.”
Bridging the gap between eras
Although many theorized that the Dubs would package their young core in a trade, it appears they will instead opt for the development route. There is no need to make rash decisions after starting the season 11-2 and a league-leading +13.2 net rating. With their young core of Kuminga, James Wiseman, and Moses Moody, the Warriors will look to maintain a balance in remaining competitive today while bridging the gap for the future. Still, they have a generational talent in Steph Curry. They’re undoubtedly hoping Kuminga can make an impact sooner than later if they want to reclaim their championship status.