Draymond Green reveals one special ‘condition’ of Warriors contract was to mentor Jonathan Kuminga

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green considered it a part of his contract extension with Golden State to mentor young forward Jonathan Kuminga.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob asked Green to help Kuminga before the four-time champion agreed to a new four-year deal with the team.

“Joe said, ‘I know you’re going to play and lead and all of that, but I need one more thing,'” Green told ESPN. “He said ‘I need you to take J.K. under your wing.’

“I said, ‘You got my word’ …To me, that was a condition of the contract.”

Green certainly has honored his word, as he’s gotten to know Kuminga more, and in turn, the young forward is having the best season of his NBA career.

“[Green] was one of those people who knew me, but never knew me like that,” Kuminga told ESPN. “It took him a long time, but he just started checking in every other day.

“He’d ask me questions that weren’t related to basketball. … He took that time to get to know me and that really bridged our relationship from just work to personal.”

This season, Kuminga is averaging 16.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game for Golden State while shooting 53.0 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from beyond the arc.

He’s already started a career-high 39 games, and it’s led to him posting his best points, rebounds and assists per game averages of his three-year career. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Kuminga has quickly become one of Golden State’s most reliable options behind superstar Stephen Curry.

Green offered Kuminga advice on how to attack defenses differently, something that the former Defensive Player of the Year noticed while he was suspended and way from the team this season.

“He can always jump and get himself out of trouble,” Green said of his advice to Kuminga. “Nobody else is going to be up there with you. Most of us, we’ve got to find angles, and different things to score, but if you get in trouble with anything, just jump.”

Having a player like Green, who is not only one of the league’s best defenders, but also one of the best facilitators at his position, helping him has certainly made Kuminga a better player.

While Golden State had to weather the storm early in the 2023-24 season with Green getting suspended, the four-time champion has shown his worth to the roster since returning. The Warriors are 24-17 in the 41 games he’s appeared in this season.

Golden State currently holds the No. 9 seed in the West, and the team will need both Green and Kuminga to play at a high level to make a run in the playoffs this season. The team may first need to get through the play-in tournament, but it has a ton of championship experience on the roster that should help it in a win-or-go-home scenario.

Lacob and the Warriors have to be glad that Green has taken his responsibility to help Kuminga so seriously, as it’s certainly improved the team throughout this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.