Fans might be angry that last night’s draft picks weren’t flipped in some sort of blockbuster trade, and rightfully so. The Golden State Warriors made the decision to place their chips into the future rather than capitalize on their window now.
As our very own Klay Thompson said while perched atop his boat, “we call those assets in the business world.” But if we’re being honest, using both picks was the most likely way draft night was going to shake out. Anything else would have been a surprise.
Trade discussions aside, Golden State had a stellar draft night. Two top ten talents fell to them at No. 7 and No. 14. And the way the draft went might be perfect for what the Warriors are building.
Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are two very intriguing young players who will soon don the blue and yellow. Kuminga is a young, extremely raw talent from the inaugural season of the G League Ignite team. He’s a big, solid and very athletic wing with a high defensive upside. Moody, a one-and-done out of Arkansas, is a smart, capable shooter who will contribute at both ends of the floor immediately.
One difference between Golden State and most other teams in the lottery is that the Warriors aren’t drafting to fill a need in their starting lineup or to have a franchise cornerstone, they’re drafting to strengthen their team as a whole. And this likely means bench roles for the newest members of Dub Nation.
If Kuminga and Moody are coming off the bench behind other established Warriors players this upcoming season, that’s not a bad thing at all. The expectation of a bench player is a lot lower than the expectation of a starter, which will take some pressure off of the two rookies.
We saw this with James Wiseman this past season. Had he come off the bench behind Kevon Looney the entire season, the fan and media reaction to the young center’s performance likely would have been dampened.
As time goes on, the younger Warriors players will phase into starting positions and be more ready to adequately fill those roles.
For someone like Kuminga, who is still 18 years old, this lower pressure is exactly what he needs to adjust to the NBA. After a tough season playing against NBA-ready players in the G League, Kuminga’s value dropped right alongside his on-court efficiency. Shooting 25% from 3 won’t exactly get you a top 5 selection.
Bench roles behind Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins for Kuminga and Moody are perfect for what the Warriors are building right now. A young group consisting of Jordan Poole, Moody, Kuminga and Wiseman makes up for one of the most exciting futures in the league, and they get to spend their youth learning from one of the greatest trios to ever step foot on the court.