Now that Steph Curry has become the second player in NBA history to sign multiple $200 million deals, it sounds like he will be a Golden State Warrior for life. But he’ll be heading into his 13th season in 2021-22 and, at age 33, is over the hill in his NBA career. He won’t have much patience for raw players to develop, even talented ones, which makes Golden State’s selections of Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, the Nos. 7 and 14 selections, respectively, in this year’s NBA draft, puzzling.
Physically, Kuminga is everything an NBA team could hope for. At 6-foot-8 and 220 pounds with elite athleticism and flashes of all-around potential, he’s a prospect with rare upside. But he’s 18 years old and incredibly raw.
Moody is a little more of a proven product but is 19 years old with only one year of collegiate experience under his belt. Coupled with last year’s No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman — another athletic and talented but raw player — it’s an odd combination of draft selections for a team with a core group of veterans ready to contend for another NBA championship right now.
Golden State could hope that Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson are enough to carry the Warriors while Kuminga and Moody develop
Curry was in the MVP discussion last season, despite his age, after averaging a career-high 32.0 points per game along with 5.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. He shot 42.1% on 12.7 3-point attempts per game, another career high, according to Basketball-Reference. He single-handedly kept Golden State in the Western Conference playoff conversation until the season’s final weeks as the Warriors played without Thompson and with a diminished Green.
Kuminga and Moody, along with Wiseman, have the athleticism to contribute on the court. It’s their basketball IQ that will be the issue. But with another season of Curry dominance along with a healthy Thompson and a more engaged Green, Golden State still has the tools to make a playoff run.
Or, Kuminga and Moody could become immediate contributors, filling out Golden State’s rotation as Steph and the Warriors push for another NBA title
The best scenario for this roster, as currently constructed, is for Kuminga and Moody to develop enough to at least contribute as role players alongside Curry, Green, and Thompson.
Curry and Thompson will score in bunches and stretch the floor, which gives other players plenty of room to operate on offense. His physical abilities may be slipping, but Green is still the smartest defensive player in the NBA, and he also has the ability to facilitate on offense.
Kuminga, Moody, and Wiseman, then, will be asked to do far less than they would on other teams. If they can use their athletic ability to play average defense, make cuts in the space Curry and Thompson will provide, and score the easy buckets inevitably handed to them, they could help the Warriors’ three stars as rotation players as soon as this season.
Golden State could flip Kuminga and Moody, along with Wiseman, for an established star to go alongside Curry, Green and Thompson
Kuminga, Moody, and Wiseman would be intriguing trade pieces as three young prospects with seemingly limitless upside.
The Philadelphia 76ers are still looking to unload Ben Simmons. There have been rumblings that Damian Lillard may want to move on from the Portland Trail Blazers. Bradley Beal has stated he doesn’t want to leave the Washington Wizards, but the Warriors have a ready-made package if he does. Who else knows what other stars might become available in trades. (See: Russell Westbrook).
It would make more sense for Golden State to try to use Kuminga, Moody, and Wiseman as trade chips. It could go all-in on another star as the Warriors’ Hall of Fame trio looks to add more NBA championships before it’s too late.