While the Golden State Warriors hold two recent top-ten draft picks, it’s the third of their lottery selections, Moses Moody, that may have the most impact next season.
The Warriors’ free agent moves have been predicated on opening a path for their younger players to gain consistent minutes next season. Having had no on-court impact in the triumphant win over the Boston Celtics, the franchise hopes their next Finals rotation will include Moody, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman.
Consistency and stability have Moses Moody poised to be the most impactful of the Golden State Warriors’ recent lottery picks.
Each of the Warriors’ three young players should find opportunities, but not necessarily at the expense of winning games throughout the regular season. So, how does Steve Kerr balance minutes for his younger players while maintaining winning hopes?
That question suggests they won’t have a winning impact, which isn’t automatically true. It’s just that being younger players, there are obvious question marks about their capacity to bring consistent value to the team.
As a result of this uncertainty, there’s practically no chance of the three sharing the court together in a meaningful situation. Given none will be regular starters, that presents a tough challenge to incorporate them into different lineups.
Even having two of them on the floor at one time may prove a test. The Warriors had an average plus-minus of +5.5 last regular season, yet were -3.1 when Moody and Kuminga played together.
Narrowing it down further though, it’s fair to anticipate that Kuminga and Wiseman will spend their playing time almost exclusively without the other. If one of them is on the floor, then you should expect to see an experienced head next to them in the frontcourt – likely Draymond or JaMychal Green.
That considerably limits the potential minutes they play, and therefore the impact they can have on games and the Warriors’ season. In contrast, Moody’s versatility and consistency make him a safer option in a greater range of lineups.
He won’t have the highlight dunks of Kuminga or Wiseman, nor the flashy blocks that can define defensive potential. But by the same token, Moody won’t be prone to the crucial mistakes that can alter momentum and have costly repercussions.
He doesn’t have the sky-high potential of the other two, but he’s much closer to being a reliable NBA player. For a team that garners aspirations to win another championship, developing a young player into a genuine rotation piece is more important than nurturing them into an All-Star five years down the track. For what it’s worth, the Warriors are attempting to complete the enormous task of doing both.
While the highlights and per-36-minute box scores may not necessarily show it, Moody is ready to have a greater impact on the Warriors’ season than either of his comparative teammates.
A wing role focused on a three-and-D style is likely to be more efficient than Kuminga’s brilliant but often reckless method, along with Wiseman’s challenge of protecting the paint while integrating into Golden State’s high IQ offense.