Golden State Warriors unwilling to part with young star; impacting ability to pull off blockbuster trade

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors thought they were nearing the finish line in acquiring Paul George in a blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Clippers this past weekend.

Golden State was favored to land George before he ultimately opted out of his contract and signed with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Due to their salary cap situation, the only way the Warriors would’ve been able to acquire George is if he opted into his deal.

We’re now hearing a bit more about how trade talks between the Clippers and Warriors went. Apparently, Golden State was not willing to offer up 21-year-old forward Jonathan Kuminga in any deal involving George.

“The Warriors offered multiple combinations of expiring contracts, young players and an unprotected 2027 first-round pick, sources said. The Clippers countered by asking for prized youngster Jonathan Kuminga, sources said. The Warriors resisted because Kuminga is so important to their own future, sources said, but also because they worried George wouldn’t be as interested in joining them if they gave up too much to get him.”

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne on Golden State Warriors trade talks

The Warriors were willing to offer up the likes of Moses Moody and Brandin Podziemski to go with salary fillers and draft capital. But they drew the line at Kuminga

Related: Updated Golden State Warriors news and rumors

Dont’ expect a big Golden State Warriors trade if they hold firm on Jonathan Kuminga

Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

In a vacuum, Golden State has the assets to pull off a blockbuster trade. The team has pretty much all of its first-round picks moving forward. It has young players to offer up.

Right now, general manager Mike Dunleavy and Co. are being most linked to Utah Jazz All-Star big man Lauri Markkanen. However, it remains to be seen if Jazz front office head Danny Ainge would move him for a package that does not include Kuminga.

It sure seems that the Warriors are still going with their two timeline process. That is to say, attempting to compete short term while building long term. Losing Klay Thompson for pretty much nothing in a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks complicates this further.

As for Kuminga, there is good reason not to want to move him. He’s shown an insane amount of promise since Golden State made him a first-round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

  • Jonathan Kuminga stats (2023-24): 16.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 53% shooting

Over the final 37 games of last season, Kuminga averaged 19.7 points and 5.6 rebounds on 38% shooting from three-point range.

Holding on to the youngster is fine. Hoping he turns into a star sooner rather than later is another thing. And in reality, it handcuffs the Warriors as they try to contend with Stephen Curry hitting the twilight of his career.

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