Golden State Warriors

Is Jonathan Kuminga valued enough to be a ‘centerpiece’ in a big-time NBA trade?

The Warriors have been impressive throughout the early NBA campaign, jumping out to one of the best records in the league when many thought they’d struggle without injured guard Klay Thompson.

But their top pick in the NBA Draft has surprised most NBA observers, too, and in limited action.

Though rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga averages just 9.4 minutes per game, he’s opened eyes in the league — sometimes widely — with his freak athleticism and solid feel for the game, despite being just 19 years of age. In his first NBA start, which came in Toronto when coach Steve Kerr rested his frontline players, Kuminga showed he was certainly worthy of the No. 7 overall pick.

In fact, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle says that Kuminga’s value is so high in the NBA right now that he could be the “centerpiece ” in a trade that would net the Warriors a big name player — if the Warriors wanted to trade Kuminga, that is.

Jonathan Kuminga’s market value is high right now. I think NBA front offices can look at his situation and see that, if he were playing for a worse team, he’d be a potential All-Rookie Team candidate.

In the limited minutes he has received, Kuminga, 19, has flashed enough scoring upside and athleticism to show he could become an All-Star someday. If the Warriors made him available, teams might be willing to make him the centerpiece of a deal for a big-name player.

San Francisco Chronicle/Connor Letourneau

Letourneau goes on to write that the Warriors have no interest in trading Kuminga, and they feel he can be a major part of the post-Curry era, along with guard Jordan Poole.

But it’s very exciting to hear how valuable Kuminga is right now, and for me, it’s gratifying. I’ve been on board with his selection since predraft chatter had him sliding out of the top-5 picks. While some might be tempted to have fun making up trades for big-time players with Kuminga as the centerpiece, I’m more than content to watch him blossom slowly and potentially become the face of the franchise years down the road.

What do you think? Time to talk trades? Or are you down with Kuminga as the Warriors’ own centerpiece in years to come?

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