Moses Moody

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Ayton, Moody, Curry, LeBron

The Lakers are expected to rely on their size with Trevor Ariza set to miss time due to an ankle injury, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register writes.

Ariza’s absence could lead to Los Angeles playing more lineups with LeBron James at small forward and Anthony Davis at power forward, meaning centers such as Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan need to be ready to play. Ariza is expected to miss eight weeks and make a full recovery.

“I don’t think you really put together your plan on how much A.D.’s gonna play the four or five until your team is whole,” head coach Frank Vogel acknowledged, according to Goon. “And once you figure that out, then you make those decisions.”

Ariza’s absence could also lead to more playing time for veteran forwards Kent Bazemore and Carmelo Anthony depending on the lineups Vogel uses.

There’s more from the Pacific Division today:

  • The Suns‘ decision not to reward Deandre Ayton with a maximum-salary rookie-scale extension sends a bad message to other players, Evan Sidery of BasketballNews.com opines. Sidery notes that Ayton did a good job of buying into his role last season, playing a key role in the Suns’ trip to the NBA Finals. In 22 playoff games, the 23-year-old averaged 15.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 36.4 minutes per contest, shooting 66% from the floor. As we previously relayed, the Suns remain reluctant to offer Ayton a max extension and negotiations are at an impasse.
  • Warriors rookie Moses Moody is starting to settle in with the team, Anthony Slater notes for The Athletic. Moody showed flashes of potential against the Lakers on Friday night, playing against veterans such as Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. “We’ve seen the last few days — we’ve seen him start to pick up on things,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The first few days were kind of a whirlwind for him, but it’s a testament to his basketball instinct how quickly he’s picking things up.”
  • Stephen Curry recently praised Lakers superstar LeBron James, explaining that the four-time MVP has ‘set the standard’ for longevity in the NBA. “Let’s keep it real — what is he, in his 18th year? Nine straight Finals, all the things that he’s accomplished,” Curry said, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. “You have a vision of sustaining your prime for as long as you can, kind of reimagining what that looks like. So you know the work that goes into it, the intentionality, especially in the offseasons, especially how you take care of your body, your mind. Balance on court, off court.” James has played 1,310 regular-season games, logging 50,055 minutes.

Pacific Notes: Hield, Holmes, Shamet, Bradley, Iguodala

Few players who returned to their teams for the 2021/22 season came closer to being traded over the summer than Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield. However, speaking to reporters at the start of training camp this week, Hield sounded happy to still be in Sacramento and unbothered by seeing his name pop up in offseason trade rumors, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee relays.

“Yeah, I saw (the trade rumors), but I can’t control none of that and this is the business we live in,” Hield said. “My job is to come in and work my butt off every day and produce, and try to produce wins, and I can’t get mad at that. I get paid lots and lots of money to do this, so I’m blessed each and every day to come in here and compete. I love being around my guys. I love the team camaraderie we share and all that. The coaching staff has been great. It’s been fun, so I love it. Whatever happens, happens.”

Kings forward/center Marvin Bagley III, who was also the subject of trade speculation during the offseason, downplayed those rumors too, telling reporters that he’s “right where God wants me to be,” per Anderson. Head coach Luke Walton expressed enthusiasm about getting both players back, suggesting that Bagley was having a career year last season before breaking his hand and calling Hield “one of the most elite shooters” in the NBA.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Veteran center Richaun Holmes told reporters on Tuesday that he never got the feeling during free agency that he wouldn’t be back with the Kings, who “came out of the gate and showed (him) love from the beginning” (Twitter link via Sean Cunningham of ABC10). Holmes also lauded the team’s offseason additions of Davion Mitchell and Tristan Thompson. You add guys like Davion and Tristan Thompson, and a certain attitude comes,” Holmes said of his new teammates (Twitter link via James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area). “They bring a certain attitude, a certain swagger and that’s something we’re going to need.”
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams said on Tuesday that Phoenix had been trying to acquire Landry Shamet for two years (Twitter link via Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic). Shamet was traded during the 2020 offseason from the Clippers to the Nets, who flipped him to Phoenix last month.
  • Warriors camp invitee Avery Bradley, who said on Tuesday that he believes he “might be the best on-ball defender in the NBA,” has a viable case for a regular season roster spot, according to Kendra Andrews of NBC Bay Area, who writes that Golden State could use Bradley’s presence on defense — even if he may be overstating his own talents.
  • The Warriors are already feeling the effects of Andre Iguodala‘s leadership, says Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody both spoke this week about looking forward to learning from the veteran swingman. “He’s a guy that’s been through it all in the NBA,” Moody said. “So, especially a guy if a guy of his stature is in the perfect position to teach me as a young guy whatever I need, whatever I need to know.”

Pacific Notes: Moody, Booker, Jack, Phillips

Rookie Warriors shooting guard Moses Moody, chosen with the No. 14 pick out of Arkansas in the NBA draft this summer, is optimistic heading into his first NBA season, writes Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. The 6’6″ wing was highly coveted by Golden State, who even considered drafting him with the seventh pick before ultimately selecting Jonathan Kuminga.

“I want to establish the foundation for my career, and I feel like I will be able to do that with this coaching staff and these players,” the 19-year-old Moody said of how he intends to develop with the Warriors.

Moody is a solid defender with an elite 7’1″ wingspan. He averaged 16.3 PPG, including 37% shooting from long range, during his four games in the 2021 Las Vegas Summer League. Simmons observes that, until Klay Thompson‘s anticipated return from an Achilles tear a couple months into the season, there will be something of a competition for the Warriors’ starting shooting guard position, and Moody will certainly make his case for consideration.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Suns All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker has entered the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and will miss part of the team’s upcoming training camp for the 2021/22 season, per Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. It is unclear whether or not Booker himself has tested positive for the novel coronavirus or has been determined to have been exposed via contact tracing.
  • New Suns assistant coach Jarrett Jack had intended to continue his career as a player before he was summoned to the Phoenix bench, he indicated in an interview with Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. The former NBA point guard had most recently served as a veteran leader with the G League Ignite during the 2020/21 season. “I know what they’re about and I know what they want to build and how they want to build it,” Jack said of the Suns. “So now I got to get my head wrapped around this pretty fast.” In the second part of Jack’s conversation with Rankin, he discussed his role with the club. “I believe player development,” Jack said. “I believe I’ll be pretty much with the point guards for the most part.”
  • The Clippers have added former Wizards director of athletic performance and rehabilitation Jesse Phillips to their medical staff, reports Fred Katz of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Warriors Notes: Offseason Overview, MLE, Trades, Team Needs

The Warriors’ offseason, outside of drafting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody in the lottery, may not have been what fans have imagined as the team attempts to regain championship contender status, but it’s not for lack of trying, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

After trying and failing to attract veterans like Nicolas Batum and Patty Mills, the Warriors chose to be judicious with their use of their taxpayer mid-level exception. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, using the exception would end up costing the team an extra $41MM, given its tax situation. In that scenario, Golden State’s payroll and tax bill combined would come out to over $400MM. Instead, the team will rely on jumps in responsibility from players like Jordan Poole and Juan Toscano-Anderson.

Kawakami also writes that the team is unlikely to package Moody and Kuminga in a trade at this point in time.

We have more news from the Warriors:

  • Golden State isn’t actively engaged on any trades at the moment, team president Bob Myers said (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). According to Myers, trade talks are “dormant at this moment in time,” and the league seems to be “on pause” on the trade front.
  • When asked about if the team is done adding veteran free agents, Myers replied, “I think we still need some kind of ballhandling guard. We’re a little thin there” (Twitter link via Slater). While the list of guards left on the market is thin, there are still some interesting options to chose from.
  • Despite being turned down by several targets while trying to use their taxpayer MLE, the Warriors still may utilize it, with the buyout market being a likely target for such a deal, Myers said (Twitter link via Nick Friedell of ESPN).

Warriors Notes: Bjelica, Porter, Poole, Rookies, Iguodala, Kerr

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes that adding veteran forwards Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter in free agency should help make Golden State a better three-point shooting team in 2021/22, as he tells Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.

Kerr called the signing of Bjelica “really exciting,” pointing out that the Warriors haven’t really had a floor-spacing, pick-and-pop big man since Marreese Speights, who generally shot from the mid-range rather than from beyond the arc.

“I look at Bjelica as the three-point-shooting version of Mo, in many ways,” Kerr said. “Because all of a sudden, you’re looking at a spaced floor when you consider Klay (Thompson)‘s return and Steph (Curry)‘s play last year. The ability to play Bjelica with Draymond (Green), which basically turns Draymond into the five and the pick-and-roll guy with Bjelica spaced. Really exciting.”

Kerr also praised Porter, referring to him as a player who can guard multiple positions on defense and who isn’t just “going to stand in the corner” on offense.

“The whole thing with Otto is health now,” Kerr told Kawakami. “He feels like he’s healthy and we’re going to give him every opportunity to get himself in shape and in rhythm. If he can return to form, then he’s a really, really interesting player for us. Somebody who could play an important role.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Asked by Kawakami about lineup and rotation decisions to start the season, Kerr predicted that Jordan Poole will be the Warriors’ starting shooting guard until Thompson is ready to play, and said it’s “impossible to say” yet whether either Jonathan Kuminga or Moses Moody will play regular minutes.
  • Kerr recognizes that trading Andre Iguodala in 2019 was necessary in order to get below the hard cap, but is thrilled to have the veteran forward back in Golden State, as Kawakami relays. “I think when we lost him, we lost a piece of our soul,” Kerr said of Iguodala. “… Andre’s return, I think, is huge in a lot of different ways. First, he’s still got plenty to offer, as he showed in Miami the last two seasons. So his addition on the court will be huge for us. And second, he just embodies everything we’re about — versatility, sacrifice, the clear defining of roles, the mentoring that he brings for the younger guys. You throw all that into the equation and Andre is just an enormous addition for us.”
  • Kerr, who won a gold medal in Tokyo as an assistant coach for Team USA, was asked by Kawakami if he’d be interested in becoming the club’s head coach in 2024, assuming Gregg Popovich doesn’t return. His reply: “Of course I’d be interested. I mean, who wouldn’t be? I’ll leave it at that. I have no idea how it will all transpire; there are a lot of great candidates out there. And if I were to be considered, that would be an honor.”
  • The Warriors issued a press release today officially announcing a series of previously-reported additions to Kerr’s coaching staff, including Kenny Atkinson, Dejan Milojevic, and Jama Mahlalela.

Warriors Sign Moses Moody To Rookie Contract

The Warriors have signed swingman Moses Moody to his rookie scale contract, the team announced on social media today.

Moody, 19, averaged 16.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in 33.8 minutes per contest (32 games) as a freshman at the University of Arkansas last season.

Golden State picked Moody with the No. 14 pick in this year’s draft. The Warriors also held the No. 7 pick in the draft, choosing to select G League Ignite player Jonathan Kuminga.

The Warriors dealt with numerous injuries last season and finished with a 39-33 record. Having young pieces such as Kuminga and Moody will be imperative for the future, though the team remains focused on contending with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson,and other veterans in the present day.

Moody is set to earn $3.56MM next season and $17MM in total on his four-year rookie contract. As we previously relayed, the Warriors signed Kuminga to his rookie scale deal as well. It will pay him $5.46MM next season and $24.85MM in total.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Lacob, Moody, Larranaga

Prior to the draft, the Warriors’ top players were reportedly urging the front office to make a major deal by using assets such the No. 7 and 14 picks in the draft. Golden State ultimately didn’t make a deal, instead drafting Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.

Majority owner Joe Lacob said it’s “unlikely” will swing a big deal this offseason, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports. The Warriors don’t want to give up an established star for another one.

“I know this isn’t popular with a lot of people. They think we ought to go get the next star,” Lacob said. “We already have the stars. And we have a payroll that’s — and I’ve said this when I was interviewed before, but nobody listened. It’s very unlikely, I’ve said that we’re not going to trade for anybody that people are expecting. Very unlikely.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • In the same story, Lacob said he’s ecstatic how the draft unfolded. “We’ll probably never have two lottery picks again. If we do, we’ll have a problem,” he said. “The thing that’s most amazing to me is how it worked out. I shouldn’t say where they were on our board, but it’s hard for me not to say it. I’ll just tell you they were both clearly in our top 10. We feel like we got really fortunate on Kuminga. Then with Moody, I think it’s pretty common knowledge we were seriously considering him at seven.”
  • Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson attended Moody’s draft workout, Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area relays. Moody also has the same representative as Draymond Green and they had conversations leading up to the draft.
  • Jay Larranaga is joining Tyronn Lue’s coaching staff with the Clippers, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweetsLarranaga has been Brad Stevens top assistant with the Celtics over the past seven seasons.

Pacific Notes: Warriors, Lakers, Davis, Hield, Kings

Draymond Green was on board with the Warriors‘ selections at Nos. 7 and 14, according to president of basketball operations Bob Myers, who said Green texted him with the names “(Jonathan) Kuminga” and “(Moses) Moody” a few spots before Golden State was on the clock for each selection (video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).

Myers also said in his post-draft press conference that the Warriors will need to add some veteran players in free agency. After weeks of rumors that Golden State was looking into trading its lottery picks for veteran contributors, the team ended up using those selections to draft an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old, making a massive bet on its player development program, Slater writes for The Athletic.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • An earlier report indicated that when LeBron James and Anthony Davis spoke to Russell Westbrook about teaming up in Los Angeles, the Lakers‘ stars expressed a willingness to play more at positions they’ve resisted in the past (power forward for James, center for Davis). Jovan Buha of The Athletic confirms (via Twitter) that the plan is, in fact, to have Davis play more minutes at center next season.
  • With his deal to land Westbrook, Lakers president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka provided a reminder that he’s one of the NBA’s “most audacious operators,” says Bill Oram of The Athletic.
  • The Kings, who had been in serious discussions with the Lakers about a Buddy Hield trade, will now have to pivot and explore other options for Hield after L.A. chose to use its assets to acquire Westbrook instead, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic.
  • Kings general manager Monte McNair on Thursday when he used the No. 9 pick to add Davion Mitchell to a crowded backcourt headlined by De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton. However, McNair isn’t worried about the positional overlap, as James Ham of NBC Sports California relays. “Best player available and Davion just won a national championship in a three-guard lineup,” McNair said, referring to a Baylor team that featured Mitchell, Jared Butler, and MaCio Teague.

Draft Notes: Duarte, Warriors, Hornets, Mavs, Stashes

The Pacers ended up with Oregon’s Chris Duarte on draft night, using the No. 13 pick to select him. However, Duarte drew plenty of interest from other teams before Indiana snatched him up late in the lottery, writes J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

[RELATED: 2021 NBA Draft Results]

According to Michael, a Warriors official told Duarte on the way to the draft that he’d be their choice at No. 14. Golden State subsequently tried to make a trade with the Pacers after Indiana picked Duarte, says Michael. Meanwhile, the Knicks‘ “furious” attempts to move into the top 10 or the late lottery were believed to be focused on Duarte, according to Michael, who adds that the Jazz offered the No. 30 pick and Joe Ingles in a deal to get in position to draft the Oregon wing.

A Warriors source denied to Michael that Golden State tried to trade for Duarte even after selecting Moses Moody at No. 14, but Michael says two independent sources confirmed his report, and Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link) corroborated it.

Here’s more on the 2021 NBA draft, the day after:

  • Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak said there was huge demand for the No. 11 pick, which Charlotte used to draft James Bouknight.There was as much demand for that pick this year as I’ve ever seen for a pick in my years,” the veteran executive said, per Jonathan M. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
  • The Mavericks entered draft night without any picks, but president of basketball operations Nico Harrison said the team got “lots of calls” about getting into the first or second round. The price was ultimately “too rich for our blood,” according to Harrison (Twitter link via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News).
  • A pair of second-round picks by Atlantic teams are expected to be draft-and-stash prospects. The Celtics‘ No. 45 pick, Juhann Begarin, will likely remain in France for another season, per president of basketball operations Brad Stevens (Twitter link via Jared Weiss of The Athletic). And the Sixers’ No. 50 pick, Filip Petrusev, also isn’t expected to come over right away, as first reported by Rich Hofmann of The Athletic (Twitter link) and later confirmed by president of basketball operations Daryl Morey (Twitter link via Derek Bodner of The Athletic).

More On Grizzlies/Pelicans Trade

The Grizzlies and Pelicans made a significant splash today, agreeing to the first trade of NBA draft week. As we previously relayed, Memphis will ship center Jonas Valanciunas and the Nos. 17 and 51 selections in the 2021 draft to New Orleans for center Steven Adams, guard Eric Bledsoe, the Nos. 10 and 40 picks, plus the Lakers’ top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick.

The top-10 protected 2022 Lakers pick will become two second-rounders if it doesn’t convey in next year’s draft, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. The protection was previously reported, but the two second-rounders element was not.

It appears that the Grizzlies may not be done dealing, as they look to continue to build their roster around promising point guard Ja Morant and intriguing big man Jaren Jackson Jr. Morant led the Grizzlies to their first playoff appearance since the 2016/17 season this year. Memphis fell 4-1 in the first round to the Jazz.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer (Twitter link), the Grizzlies may be looking to move up even higher in the lottery ahead of Thursday’s draft. Memphis could be trying to add NBA G League Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga or Connecticut guard James Bouknight, per O’Connor.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN adds (via Twitter) that the Grizzlies also auditioned Arkansas guard Moses Moody during a private Los Angeles work out last week, apparently expecting to move into the lottery even at the time. Givony adds (Twitter link) that Michigan forward Franz Wagner, projected to be selected as high as the No. 7 pick, could be a potential Grizzlies target. Adelaide point guard Josh Giddey is another apparent prospect for Memphis, as previously noted.

New Grizzlies guard Bledsoe, who had a down season during his lone year with the Pelicans, is not anticipated to remain in Memphis next season, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

It is not at present clear if Bledsoe, a two-time All-Defensive Team selection, will be traded or will be waived (and possibly stretched). The Grizzlies would most likely need to attach assets in any trade of Bledsoe.

Luke Adams contributed to this report.