SAN FRANCISCO — Coach Steve Kerr can sense the frustration bubbling within Jonathan Kuminga during the first week of the season.

Kuminga hasn’t played more than 15 minutes in a game and found himself as the odd man out of the rotation in Thursday night’s win over the Miami Heat.

“He’s not happy and I don’t want him to be happy,” Kerr said of Kuminga. “I want all of my guys to want to be out there. But it’s a necessary part the growth to learn how to win, learn how to be a part of combinations. We have to put the best combination on the floor right now that are going to help us win games.”

It’s difficult to manage a rotation bigger than 10 players. The Warriors went with Moses Moody who helps with floor spacing and Ty Jerome for his playmaking abilities. That left Kuminga to watch the team win its third game from the bench.

Of course, Kuminga was thrilled the team won, improving to 3-2 on the season. That’s the priority after all. But Kuminga also couldn’t help but let his mind wonder as to why he didn’t play.

“I’m just asking myself, ‘What did I do wrong?’” he said.

Kuminga possesses the raw talent, athleticism and upside to develop into a high-caliber NBA player. But it’ll take time and reps to get there. And that’s part of the problem. The Warriors don’t have enough minutes for Kuminga, especially at his position which is jam packed with other players.

Kuminga has played the least amount of minutes among top-10 picks from the 2021 draft picks. A big reason for that is because those other players are on non-contending teams, where the end-of-game results don’t matter as much. Kuminga is on a shorter leash with the reigning champions and unable to play through as many mistakes.

Kerr has talked about the delicate balance he must strike as a coach developing young talent on a championship-contending team. On one hand, he wants to put his squad in the best position to win. On the other, Kerr has to manage a young player’s ego that might take a hit when he doesn’t get much action on the court.

“Jonathan’s time will come,” Kerr said. “He’s very talented, he’s just got to keep working and things will go well for him as long as he just stays on the path. This is how it goes for young guys on championship teams. There’s just no free minutes. But the development comes every day… with coming to practice and getting the work in every single day so he’s working hard, he’s staying ready and his time will come.”


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