3. Wiggins out, Moody in
If there’s one player in the starting lineup that actually deserves a demotion to the bench, then sensationally it’s Wiggins. The 28-year-old looks a shell of the 2022 All-Star who was Golden State’s second-best player in a championship run.
The issue is, who do the Warriors have that can actually replace Wiggins in the starting five? Paul and Payton have been closing games over him to start the season, but they’re not adding any sort of shooting threat that the team currently lacks.
There’s really only one player on the roster who’s a like-for-like replacement that can actually add that shooting threat — Moses Moody. Even then, the former 14th overall pick has regressed after a hot start to the season, now shooting just 34.2% on the season.
That’s still a major upgrade from Wiggins’ current output, and there would have to be optimism that playing next to Curry and Thompson, Moody could get back to closer to 40% from three. Right now, he appears like the Warriors third-best three-point shooter behind the splash brothers.
The 21-year-old is also 6’6″, so you’re not losing too much in the way of size. Moody’s also a better rebounder than Wiggins right now, averaging 6.1 per 36 minutes compared to 5.2. If anything there would be a worry about the point-of-attack defense — Moody is better off-ball than he is on-ball — but at least Green and Looney could provide some insurance in this lineup.
Moody currently holds the second-best net rating on the team behind Payton (of any player to be averaging at least 10 minutes per game). He’s developing into a winning player, something Kerr may need to utilize more.