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Steve Kerr Hints at Major Roster Move, Wants Jonathan Kuminga to Take Over 2022 All-Star’s Starting Spot

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Steve Kerr Hints at Major Roster Move, Wants Jonathan Kuminga to Take Over 2022 All-Star’s Starting Spot

On Thursday, the Golden State Warriors conducted their annual exit interviews following their season-ending loss to the Sacramento Kings in the play-in tournament earlier this week. During his turn on the hot seat, head coach Steve Kerr gave an insight into the team’s shortcomings following a disappointing 10th-placed finish and also spoke at length about the positives and the roster’s future.

Kerr was asked about forward Jonathan Kuminga‘s development into a key contributor to the team. Explaining the genesis behind his massive leap during this past season, the veteran head coach said,

“When we made the shift in the starting lineup midseason and had Draymond [Green] at the 5, Wigs [Andrew Wiggins] at 3 and JK [Jonathan Kuminga] at the 4, and with the 3 and 4 combined, it was very helpful for JK to get the ball with more space, get downhill. I think it unlocked some of the things he can do.”

Kuminga excelled on the offensive end, averaging a career-high 16.1 points per game, according to Statmuse. While his productivity on offense was exceptional, Kerr noted that the team was better defensively when the forward was out injured and Trayce Jackson-Davis was in the starting lineup. The veteran head coach challenged Kuminga and said,

“I think what JK is looking at is how he can be more versatile in different lineups. Can he be a 3? It’s a big question and I don’t the answer to it. But I know as we continue to help him and as he continues to learn how to create spacing and get his shot off a little quicker, but more comfortable catch and shooting but also making the right reads. Because as a 3, can he handle the more, become a better passer.”

Kerr made it clear that he sees Kuminga as a small forward rather than a power forward and wants the young star to develop his passing, off-the-ball movement, and catch-and-shoot ability to truly play the position well. The head coach’s admission suggests that the team may be looking to move on from Andrew Wiggins, something they cannot do unless Kuminga works on his game and takes another massive leap in the offseason.

Given just how far the 21-year-old has come already, it likely wouldn’t be the smartest decision to bet against him adapting to this new role Steve Kerr wants him in. That said, the level that Andrew Wiggins was required to defend at isn’t something just anybody can do. So, while Kuminga does indeed have the tools to live up to Kerr’s expectations, whether or not the player can truly fulfill his potential in this category remains to be seen.

Warriors players believe Jonathan Kuminga is a future All-Star


While Jonathan Kuminga’s head coach has a laundry list of things the forward needs to work on, his teammates already believe he is destined for greatness. During his exit interview, Wiggins was asked about the young star’s prospects and he said the following, per NBCS.

“JK [Jonathan Kuminga], he’s very talented, very competitive and a hell of an athlete… The sky’s the limit for him. His potential is through the roof… He’s gonna keep getting better and better and an All-Star season is coming for him, for sure.”

The Warriors have a great track record of developing talented players into All-Stars, as evidenced by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green’s wildly successful careers. They believe they have another All-Star-in-the-making in Kuminga, and his massive leap this season suggests he’s heading down the same path as his championship-winning teammates. But can he live up to these expectations? And more importantly, is it right to place this much pressure on a player still so young?

Only time will tell.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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