A rival Western Conference coach has suggested the Golden State Warriors make a stunning lineup change amid their slow 10-12 start to the 2023-24 NBA season.
Much of the Warriors' issues have been predicated on the starting lineup, with the traditional starting five of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney holding the worst net rating of any lineup in the league to have played at least 110 minutes together this season.
Head coach Steve Kerr may need to make an adjustment to his starting lineup amid the Golden State Warriors' struggles
Andrew Wiggins' form has been well-publicized so far this season, with the Canadian averaging just 12.6 points on 27.7% three-point shooting in 20 games. The 28-year-old had more turnovers (five) than points (four) in the final three quarters and overtime against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, leading to his benching in the overtime period with rookie Brandin Podziemski preferred.
Yet instead of Podziemski or third-year forward Jonathan Kuminga who's closed each of the last two games, an anonymous rival Western Conference coach told Heavy Sport that another young Warrior should be starting in place of Wiggins.
"“Moses Moody, it’s not that he is better than Andrew Wiggins, it is just that he is a better fit with what they have in that starting group. They need a little hustle, they need that juice a young guy can give you. They have a lot of guys with a lot of mileage and sometimes when you drop a younger player, a hungry player, into a mix like that, it sparks those guys," the anonymous coach said."
Moody has been one of the rare positives in the Golden State season to date, impressing with his off-ball defense, hustle plays and three-point shooting. The third-year wing played nearly 60 combined minutes as a starter in Wiggins' recent two-game absence, scoring 34 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
The 21-year-old was again impressive in last Wednesday's first-half against the Portland Trail Blazers, proving a lone bright spark with double-digit scoring in the opening 24 minutes. Moody was more subdued in Friday's loss to the Thunder, scoring just two points and playing less than 16 minutes.
Wiggins was an All-Star less than two seasons ago, meaning any removal from the starting lineup would be a stunning and bold call on the two-way forward. Still, the numbers don't tell lies -- Wiggins holds easily the worst plus-minus of any Golden State player at -4.1.
Steve Kerr has been patient with the starting five that helped win a championship 18 months ago, but even he recently acknowledged that a change may need to be made. Could that come in the way of Moody becoming a starter in favor of Wiggins?