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Draymond Green’s Epic Pep Talk to Andrew Wiggins: Unleash Your Inner Beast as Jonathan Kuminga Shines!


Will the Warriors be able to find their footing with Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga? Draymond Green seems to think so.

This season has turned into a roller coaster ride filled with many question marks for the Golden State Warriors. After defeating the Philadelphia 76ers 119-107 on Tuesday night, the Warriors find themselves at 20-24 on the season. A lot of noise has been made about Andrew Wiggins’ future with Golden State given his struggles this season, as well as Jonathan Kuminga‘s breakout performances, but Draymond Green is still one of many who believes in what the former All-Star wing brings to the table.

Wiggins proved to be an instrumental part of the Warriors’ championship run in 2022. From his perimeter defense to his rebounding abilities to his shooting from the perimeter, Wiggins has played a key role out on the wing for this organization. Although his production has been inconsistent and well below average this season, Green is still pushing for Wiggins to be the player everyone on this team knows him to be.

“My advice to him is you’re damn good at basketball. You know people are going to talk. They’re gonna say this they’re gonna say that. But you’re very good at this game,” Green of Wiggins said after the Warriors’ victory over Philadelphia, via KNBR. “Trust in that. Know that you have our trust, so the lack of trust isn’t coming from inside this locker room. Who cares what anybody else thinks.”

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Although his play has negatively impacted the Warriors this season, Wiggins put together one of his best performances of the season on Tuesday night with Klay Thompson out due to an illness. Wiggins scored 23 points, the most he has recorded in more than a month, on 8-of-10 shooting. The 28-year-old also had five rebounds, four assists, and three steals en route to being +18 for the game, tied with Draymond for Golden State’s second-best plus-minus against the Sixers.

“What we need is an aggressive Andrew Wiggins. Looking to get downhill, raising up to shoot the ball with confidence, and he’s been doing that,” Green continued. “There was never a doubt, for me, on what level he can play at. We know what he’s capable of and it’s just about getting back to that.

“I know what it’s like to struggle with confidence. All of a sudden, you hit a rough patch and confidence starts to wear. I know what that feels like… We just need to make sure he keeps playing with that same aggression.”

The 38 minutes Wiggins gave the Warriors on Tuesday were perhaps the best 38 minutes he has played all season. Over his last three games, Wiggins is now averaging 20.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting 73.3 percent from the floor and 66.7 percent from three-point range. While this is a small sample size, this type of production couldn’t be coming at a better time for the Warriors, a period of the season where they desperately need to start racking up wins.

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Along with Wiggins recently finding his groove, Kuminga has also begun to emerge as a key weapon for the Warriors in his third season.

Jonathan Kuminga to lead Warriors’ future

Draymond Green saying "It's you time" to Jonathan Kuminga

It always seems like the Warriors have one youthful talent that breaks their way into the main rotation during their third season. Jordan Poole recently did so during the 2022 championship run, and now Kuminga is in the midst of what has turned into a much-needed breakout season.

While his minutes and role have changed over the course of the first half of the season, Kuminga has quickly cemented himself as one of the most important pieces of the Warriors’ rotation. Given his athletic abilities and length, the 21-year-old forward has worked his way into the starting rotation alongside Wiggins, Green, Thompson, and Stephen Curry.

Perhaps what’s most notable about Kuminga is that he has scored at least 10 points in 24 straight games, as well as in 37 of the 43 games he’s participated in this season. After scoring 26 points against the 76ers on Tuesday night, Kuminga finishes the month of January averaging 20.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 58.6 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from the perimeter.

For his career, Kuminga has recorded 20 points in 19 different games. Seven of those games have come in the last two-and-a-half weeks for the youngster. Kuminga continues to increase his value every time he takes the court, and Green seems prepared to call the former lottery pick the future of the franchise.

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“We had older guys riding our legs for years. Because we were younger, we were able to handle that. So now, it’s his turn, and he’s going to carry us now,” Green said of Kuminga, via Warriors on NBCS. “I think that’s the maturation process. That’s why you draft a young guy like that with the seventh pick, because the roles will reverse. You’re starting to see that. He’s starting to carry us more than we are carrying him. That’s what you hope to see.”

Kuminga has provided the Warriors with a spark and a sense of hope that they will be able to recover from the lackluster performances they’ve had so far this season. While there may have been some doubts surrounding his potential, nobody is doubting Kuminga anymore. With Wiggins starting to emerge and Kuminga taking on a greater role, the Warriors may just find themselves back in the playoffs and ready to contend for another championship by the end of the season.


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