close
close

Explainer: Why Jonathan Kuminga isn't the best player in the NBA

On Tuesday, April 23, fourth-year Philadelphia 76ers breakout point guard Tyrese Maxey was honored with the NBA's Most Improved Player Award. In the West, many fans argued that Warriors third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga should receive the award.

Kuminga averaged 16 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in an average of 26.3 minutes per game, a huge jump from his sophomore season by any measure. Although the Warriors failed that year, Kuminga thrived.

Although Kuminga reached the new 65-game threshold to qualify for postseason honors, he missed out due to what the Warriors described on NBCS as a “caveat” in NBA rules.

The caveat in question?

In 61 of his 74 games played he only played more than 20 minutes.

“For a game to count as one of these 65 games, a player must be active for at least 20 minutes. Kuminga checked this box 61 times, four times less than the MIP rating. Once he missed the 20-minute mark by 40 seconds, another time by 27 seconds. Kuminga played eight games in which he reached the 20-minute mark within two minutes.”

Something similar happened with the Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo, who also made an impressive jump this season after reuniting with his college friends. We're sure our friends at Posting and Toasting are very happy about this.

Hopefully the NBA will adjust the criteria next year to include more players who aren't bona fide stars but are definitely far from role players. At the moment, Jonathan Kuminga is the most improved player in our hearts.