How Steph sees Kuminga benefitting from playing with CP3

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How Steph sees Kuminga benefitting from playing with CP3 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

It’s going to be strange watching longtime rival Chris Paul fight for a championship in a Warriors uniform.

While the Jordan Poole-for-Paul blockbuster trade clearly was a win-now move, the Golden State core believes Paul will have a lasting impact on the franchise — even if he only plays one season in the Bay.

Soon after the trade officially was announced, Draymond Green stated he believes Jonathan Kuminga will benefit most from playing with Paul. Steph Curry agrees.

“[Paul] just has an understanding of spacing, decision-making, and there are patterns you can rely on when you’re playing with him, having gone against him and scouting him, understanding how he effects the game,” Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nev. on Thursday.

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“He elevates teams. He’s done that his whole career. So he’s not afraid to talk and lead. We need voices to help our young guys figure it out. He’s super competitive and wants to win, and that’s the DNA you need. He’ll help the young guys by just giving them the blueprint of winning basketball and you just have to figure it out from there.”

Kuminga, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, has all the potential in the world but has yet to put it all together for a significant stretch. Instead of taking a big leap in his second NBA season, Kuminga struggled to maintain coach Steve Kerr’s trust and weaved in and out of the rotation. He played four or fewer minutes in nine of the Warriors’ 13 playoff games.

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It’s unclear if the Warriors will bring Paul off the bench or insert him into a small-ball starting lineup, but Kuminga will share plenty of time on the floor with the future Hall of Fame guard. It’s a pairing better suited for Kuminga’s game than playing alongside Poole, an exciting youngster who tends to be reckless with the basketball.

“It’s all about adjusting to what’s the reality. I hate that we lost JP,” Curry told Monte Poole on the “Dubs Talk” podcast. “I hate that we didn’t achieve our potential last year and every team has to find a way to get better, so changes were made.

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“But I like where we are in the sense of the pieces fitting and having a lot of different looks from a rotation standpoint. A little bit more mature now in the sense of experience. I think that’s the pattern in the NBA and what affects winning. I’m going to try to play at a high level as long as I can. I know Draymond and Klay [Thompson] are about that business as well. And we have a culture of how we do things that we need to get back to. I’m excited about that challenge.”

Paul lobbing alley-oops to Kuminga and getting the most out of the young wing is a quick, easy path for the longtime rival to capture Dub Nation’s heart.

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