Should fans trust Golden State Warriors rhetoric on young wing?

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

If there's one thing that continually frustrated Golden State Warriors fans throughout this season, it's the franchise's handling of third-year wing Moses Moody.

Moody may have shown growth in averaging nearly five more minutes per game, and subsequently career-highs in almost every major category, but he still struggled to bed down a role and the trust of head coach Steve Kerr in another up-and-down season.

The Golden State Warriors want to provide more opportunity to Moses Moody, but should fans believe the rhetoric heading into the offseason?

While the Warriors' season may have ended in disaster last Tuesday, Moody was perhaps the only player to end on a positive note individually. After not playing at all in the first-quarter, the 21-year-old led a brief Golden State response in the second-quarter with seven points.

He would finish with 16 points in 15 minutes, shooting 5-of-8 from the floor and 2-of-4 from three-point range. It was a reminder of Moody's ability to stay ready and handle the big moments, even despite the franchise's often disappointing handling of his role and playing time.

Speaking at the conclusion of the season, Golden State General Manager acknowledged that the depth of the roster has meant that Moody hasn't played as much as they would have liked.

"I think it's really important coming into Year 4 for him that there is some reasonable playing time available for him where he can impact our team and be out there and continue to improve, and I think that's a fair thing. "

Mike Dunleavy Jr.

Head coach Steve Kerr gave a detailed response on what Moody needs to work on over the offseason, but conceded the former 14th overall pick "needs more opportunity, for sure."

While Dunleavy and Kerr's comments would suggest the franchise is ready to provide Moody with more opportunity, is that a sentiment fans should believe given the fluctuationg nature of his career to date?

The facts are that much of Moody's opportunity this season stemmed from the absence of others. Looking at the current state of the roster, who exactly would he step over to garner a consistent role? If Golden State are to provide Moody with greater playing time, it may require a significant shift to make it happen. For example, if Klay Thompson were to depart in free agency, then that's a role and chunk of minutes that Moody could foreseeably take. If the franchise were to move on from Andrew Wiggins via trade, that's also a pathway to more minutes depending on what the Warriors get in return.

With Moody finishing the season as the ninth or tenth player in the rotation, it's difficult to evaluate the clarity of his role until the Warrior roster is finalized this offseason. Regardless, there's little doubt that it's a big year ahead for Moody who is extension eligible or faces the prospect of being a restricted free agent in 2025.