Young wing may be developing into missing link for the Golden State Warriors

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

With Andrew Wiggins, Chris Paul and Gary Payton II on the sidelines, Steve Kerr has had to manage a different rotation and lineups over the Golden State Warriors' last two games against the LA Clippers. That's brought mostly positive results, even if the franchise ultimately blew a 22-point lead in Saturday afternoon's game at Arena.

But when that trio does return and the Warriors are at full strength, there's still plenty of questions to be answered. One of those is what their best lineup actually is, and which unit Kerr will primarily go to in closing games.

Moses Moody could quickly become the missing link for the Golden State Warriors as they seek to find the best lineup combination

Golden State have a plethora of options -- the difference between their third-best player and their 10th is quite minimal in contrast to other teams in the league. That presents its own issues though, with a former All-Star like Wiggins no longer an assumed part of the closing lineup.

Let's assume Wiggins can rediscover his form upon return, which he's started to do across his last five games prior to jamming his finger in a car door. That gives Kerr four presumed closers with Wiggins, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green -- so who is the fifth?

With Wiggins, Paul and Payton absent, Kerr has turned to third-year wing Moses Moody and rookie Brandin Podziemski to close the two games against LA. Both took advantage of the added opportunity, playing well to put their names in the closing lineup conversation when the Warriors are at full health.

Traditional starting center Kevon Looney brings the defense and rebounding, but Golden State sacrifices offense with him on the floor late in games. The opposite can be said for Paul who makes the Warriors incredibly small, so too does Payton. Dario Saric provides size and offense, yet provides little on the defensive end. Jonathan Kuminga's size and athleticism would be perfect, except he hasn't quite taken the third-year leap.

Moses Moody, Paul George
Moses Moody drives against Paul George during Saturday's game between the Golden State Warriors and LA Clippers. / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

Of all the current options, Moody might be presenting as the best. Standing at 6'6" and at 37.5% from three-point range this season, the 21-year-old may be that missing link of size, defense and shooting.

Moody's growing in stature, recording a season-high 21 points on Saturday against the Clippers. He was aggressive in getting to the free-throw line on 10 occasions, while also adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Even before that outing, ESPN's Zach Lowe has been adamant on Moody playing more, particularly in a lineup featuring Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Green.

""That group has logged only 33 minutes over the last two seasons. The Warriors are starving for a workable heavy-minutes Green-at-center lineup. The version with Chris Paul in Looney's place is too small. Iterations with Gary Payton II or Jonathan Kuminga feature two non-shooters...Moody is a proven shooter, and plays bigger than his 6-foot-6 height. He doesn't foul much or turn the ball over, the Warriors' two fatal flaws."

Once Wiggins returns, which presumably will be Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers, fans should be clamouring to see more of that lineup with Moody as the fifth player. In those 33 minutes together, Golden State has an 18.5 net rating -- that's the best of any combination to have played at least 15 minutes.

In time Moody may develop into a top five player on the roster, but even if he isn't quite that right now, he might be the best piece to fit with the core four. Time for that to prove true before the Warriors' season gets further away from them.