14 Jan

Warriors won’t trade Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or Jonathan Kuminga

On Monday, Marc Stein reiterated a previous report from Michael Grange that the Golden State Warriors do not intend to trade Jonathan Kuminga, who reportedly had lost faith in head coach Steve Kerr as his playing time and rotational consistency wavered.

Additionally, in his newsletter, Stein also reported that there is “zero indication” that the Warriors “would even explore trading franchise legends Klay Thompson or Draymond Green.”

Andrew Wiggins, on the other hand, appears to be available. From Stein:

There likewise continues to be zero indication that they would even explore trading franchise legends Klay Thompson or Draymond Green. The Warriors are also known to be resistant to the idea of trading Kuminga, who was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in 2021.

Given the limited success Golden State has found when pairing Kuminga with Andrew Wiggins, there is a rising belief among rival teams that the Warriors are increasingly open to the idea of trading Wiggins, who was an integral component of their title run in 2022.

The question persists: What sort of market exists for Wiggins, even though he possesses what is regarded as a team-friendly contract, so soon after he was relegated from the Warriors’ starting lineup? Wiggins, 28, is in Year 1 of a four-year, $109 million deal.

Previously, Grange had noted that Golden State was reluctant to move Kuminga despite recent drama, even in a potential swap for Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. This is what he reported then:

Still, according to multiple sources, the Warriors are loathe to trade Kuminga, who is seen as a potential star who can help them win now and in the future, the rare piece on the roster who can help Golden State both support Steph Curry in the present and transition to a successful post-Curry future, should it ever come.

And a not insignificant detail is that Kuminga is said to have a very close relationship with Warriors owner Joe Lacob who has historically been reluctant to part with any of the young talent that represents the Warriors’ so-called ‘two-timelines’ strategy of meshing a group of young draftees with their established championship core.

This news followed the final 18 minutes of the Warriors’ loss to the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 4, where Kuminga did not play and had to watch helplessly from the bench as their 18-point lead melted away in the final few minutes. “[Thursday night] was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a source told Shams Charania then.

This was not the first time that Kuminga and his camp have voiced their frustration, either.

“Sometimes, I come out the game not knowing what I did,” Kuminga said after the Warriors’ loss to the Nuggets on Christmas. “And that messes with my head. It’s like, ‘What they want me to do?’ I can pass and I can do different s—.”

Kerr told reporters prior to the team’s win over the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 5 that he had met with Kuminga and discussed the reports.

“We talked,” Kerr said then. “Obviously those things are better discussed behind the scenes. Any time something like that goes public it creates a distraction. It’s important for all of our guys — and I talked to our whole team about it — you got an issue? I’m here. I am the most accessible coach in the league probably. My door is always open.

“It’s a difficult situation because every player naturally has his own goals, his own dreams. Everybody wants to flourish, everybody wants to blossom. We have a lot of guys who are capable of playing and I have very difficult decisions to make each and every night. [Kuminga] is a young player, he’s growing, he’s getting better, that’s why he’s been in the starting lineup. He will continue to grow and this is all part of his growth.”

As for the idea of trading Green and/or Thompson, well, there is a few obstacles in the way. First and foremost, the Warriors are incredibly loyal to the pair and the contributions they made to a dynasty; it seems as if they’re willing to absorb the downside of their careers to make sure they honor their legacies.

But even if Golden State was open to the idea of trading one or both of them, Thompson’s game has fallen off considerably, and he’s an impending free agent who is going to want a decent-sized deal. Green, meanwhile, is about to come of his second suspension of the season, and allegedly threatened retirement before being talked out of the decision by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Regardless, Green has a hefty contract still on the books — a four-year, $100 million deal that extends through the 2025-26 season, with a player option for the 2026-27 campaign.

Finally, Wiggins, has been a shell of the player that he once was. He’s averaging just 11.9 points (down from 17.1 last season), 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists (a career low). He’s in his age-28 season, and, like Green, is signed through at least through the 25-26 season. As it currently stands, the Warriors would be hard pressed to find a potential suitor for the 6-foot-7 former No. 1 overall pick.

Golden State is currently sitting at 11th place in the Western Conference with a 17-19 record (5-5 over the last 10 games), which, if the season ended today, puts them outside of the Play-In Tournament. Having dropped Sunday’s game to the Raptors, the Warriors pick up play on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans after a two-day layover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *