Moses Moody

Warriors Notes: Thompson, Kuminga, Moody, Wiseman, Cousins

The long process of rehabbing two serious injuries will finally end Sunday for Klay Thompson, and the Warriors guard is determined to prove that he’s as good as ever, writes Nick Friedell of ESPN. Thompson bought a boat and focused on helping his younger teammates during his extended break, but nothing took his mind off his desire to start playing again. He’s “hungrier” than ever to help Golden State make an impact in the playoffs after missing the last two postseasons.

“I know myself. I know how good I am,” Thompson said. “I know the things I’ve done. … It’s like — how many times do I have to do something that no one else has ever done before and get respect? Do I have to go score 50 in a quarter now? Like, what the hell? It’s whatever though, man. It’s over with. I’m going to use it as fuel.”

Thompson’s return to the court will be a monumental event for the franchise, coach Steve Kerr said at a press conference today, per Mark Medina of Kerr compared it to Michael Jordan‘s return to basketball in 1995 and expects it to be “one of the most emotional games that any of us would ever be a part of.”

“I have no doubt when Klay walks onto the floor for the first time, I will never forget that game,” Kerr said. “It will stand out as one of the highlights of my entire basketball existence just because of who Klay is and how much he has meant to our franchise and to the Bay area and to me personally and to his teammates. He’s everybody’s favorite guy and we’ve all seen him suffer for two-and-a-half years. It’ll be very emotional.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Golden State got a look at its future in Thursday’s game at New Orleans as injuries resulted in extended playing time for rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, notes Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. “I think they’re right on schedule,” Kerr said. “I think they’re both really working hard every single day, putting the work in, learning what it’s about to be an NBA player. … It’s not easy, especially for 19-year-old kids. They’re learning, and they’re doing a great job.”
  • James Wiseman, who hasn’t played since having knee surgery last season, continues to make progress, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Kerr is hoping that during the next road trip, Wiseman can participate in 3-on-3 games or 1-on-1 drills against another center.
  • Kerr sidestepped a question today about possibly bringing back DeMarcus Cousins, who was waived Thursday by the Bucks, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). Cousins played for Golden State in 2018/19.

Warriors’ Poole, Moody Exit Protocols; Wiseman Enters

The Warriors received mixed news Wednesday evening. The good: guards Jordan Poole and Moses Moody have exited the league’s health and safety protocols, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). The bad news is second-year center James Wiseman, who has been rehabbing from a torn meniscus and has yet to play this season, has entered the protocols, Slater tweets.

Poole was in the midst of a breakout third season prior to being sidelined, averaging a career-best 17.9 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 3.4 APG in 28 games (30.7 MPG). The 28th overall pick of the 2019 draft, Poole is eligible for a rookie scale extension in the summer of 2022. Rookie Moody has seen action in 22 contests with a modest average of 6.5 MPG.

Wiseman, the second overall pick of the 2020 draft, appeared in 39 games as a rookie last season (21.4 MPG), averaging 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG. The 20-year-old seven-footer has been practicing recently as he nears a return, but that will be delayed a bit longer after being sidelined by the COVID-19 protocols. The Warriors are reportedly very high on Wiseman’s upside and are committed to keeping him on the team.

Wiseman will be away from the team facility for at least six days or until he returns two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

The Warriors have the best record in the league at 27-7. Their next game is at Denver on Thursday.

COVID-19 Updates: Hawks, Blazers, Celtics, Bucks, Nets

Wesley Iwundu, who just signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks on Thursday, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Iwundu played 23 minutes in the Hawks’ 98-96 victory over the Sixers Thursday night, scoring two points and grabbing five rebounds. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets that the Hawks will need to sign another replacement player to replace Iwundu — himself a replacement player.

Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu, who made his season debut last week, has entered the protocols as well, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. In three games this season (22.3 MPG), Okongwu is averaging 10.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.0 BPG. The Hawks now have nine players in the protocols.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates:

  • Backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and two-way rookie Trendon Watford have entered the protocols for the Trail Blazers and the rest of the team will now be re-tested, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). DSJ and Watford are the only players currently in the protocols for the Blazers.
  • The Celtics have four new players entering the protocols: C.J. Miles, Justin Jackson, Aaron Nesmith, and Bruno Fernando, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. However, Al Horford, Juan Hernangomez, Jabari Parker, and Brodric Thomas, who’ve all been in the protocols, are listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against Milwaukee, so they could be exiting the protocols soon. Until those four are cleared, the Celtics will have 12 players in the COVID-19 protocols — the largest outbreak in the NBA.
  • In addition to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis has exited the protocols for the Bucks, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. Like Horford and the other Celtics, Donte DiVincenzo, who’s also been in the protocols, is listed as questionable to make his season debut Saturday.
  • Meanwhile, Bruce Brown and James Johnson have exited the protocols for the Nets, but seven others, including star Kevin Durant, remain in the protocols for their game Saturday against the Lakers, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).
  • Warriors rookie Moses Moody has entered the protocols, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Golden State now has four players in the protocols.

Warriors Rumors: Kuminga, Moody, Curry, Green, Klay, Iguodala

Warriors owner Joe Lacob is high on the team’s young prospects, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who told Michael Scotto on the HoopsHype Podcast that Lacob values Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody more than other teams do right now. As a result, the odds of either rookie being included in a trade this season – for Ben Simmons or anyone else – are very low.

Lacob’s desire to develop players like Kuminga, Moody, and James Wiseman into cornerstones for the next era of Warriors basketball would seem to be at odds with Stephen Curry‘s desire to maximize the team’s current window, Slater observes. However, Curry signed a new four-year extension with Golden State this offseason and seems “pretty dead set” on finishing his career with the team, according to Slater.

Slater believes Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green would ideally like to continue playing for the Warriors and pursuing titles together for the rest of their careers. However, Slater views Green as less of a sure thing than Curry to play his entire career in Golden State, noting that Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers would “love” to acquire the former Defensive Player of the Year if the opportunity arises. Green is under contract through 2022/23.

“If another team is willing to give Draymond a contract that the Warriors aren’t in a couple of years, I could see that going differently, even if their dream scenario would be to play forever,” Slater told Scotto.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • According to Slater on the HoopsHype podcast, Klay Thompson has participated in some two-on-two workouts and some “very controlled” contact work. Mid-December is probably the earliest Thompson would come back from his Achilles tear, per Slater, who says the team would be fine with pushing Klay’s return into the new year if he doesn’t feel quite ready next month.
  • If Andre Iguodala plays beyond the 2021/22 season, it would only be with the Warriors, Slater opines. Slater also expects the team to play it safe with the veteran wing during the season, resting him frequently to make sure he’s fresh for the stretch run and the postseason.
  • The Warriors have assigned Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to the G League in order to have them play in Santa Cruz’s game against the Ignite on Wednesday, tweets Slater. The two lottery picks have played very limited minutes at the NBA level so far.

Pacific Notes: Poole, Moody, Lakers, Crowder

The Warriors are being supportive of Jordan Poole, who has been erratic in his first experience as a full-time starter, writes Alex Didion of NBC Sports Bay Area. Poole has turned in a mix of good and bad games, and although he’s averaging 14.0 PPG, turnovers have been an issue and he’s shooting just 40.8% from the field and 22.6% from 3-point range.

In a radio appearance Friday, coach Steve Kerr said ups and downs are normal for a third-year player, adding that he “couldn’t be happier” with how Poole is handling his new role. Backcourt partner Stephen Curry echoed those sentiments and said they talk frequently about what it takes to be a consistent NBA player.

“He wants it really bad. He wants to be great in this league. You can see it,” Curry said. “But it takes time, and for him, it’s understanding that you don’t have to press every night, especially when you’re on other teams’ scouting reports and they are going to try to take you away from your patterns and sweet spots.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Moses Moody was recalled to the Warriors today after a one-game stint in the G League, notes Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle. NBA playing opportunities have been scarce so far for the rookie guard, but team officials like what they’ve seen. “He’s mature beyond his years, both as a human being and as a player,” Kerr said. “It’s mostly just getting in reps since he hasn’t been able to play much for us.”
  • Frustrated with their early-season defensive effort, Lakers players took steps to fix it Friday night, according to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times“I come in to talk to the guys at halftime and they’re already watching film, talking to each other,” coach Frank Vogel said after Friday’s win over Cleveland. “(Rajon) Rondo was in there, LeBron (James), (Russell Westbrook), (Anthony Davis). They’re all talking and figuring things. We’re looking at our clips that we pull as well. So, they were just motivated. It’s not happening on the defensive side the way we want, but we’re working towards it.”
  • Jae Crowder is serving as a mentor to Suns‘ second-year power forward Jalen Smith, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Smith hasn’t seen much playing time since being taken with the 10th pick in last year’s draft, so Crowder has become his personal instructor. “He does a great job of just telling me what he sees and what he feels,” Crowder said. “What he wants to add to his game and how he wants to try to get on the court. I’m just trying to help. Be a big brother. Be a good teammate. Help my brother out.

Warriors Notes: Kuminga, Moody, Lee, Atkinson, Bjelica

There’s a possibility that Jonathan Kuminga – who has been dealing with a right knee injury – will be active for the first time on Saturday, head coach Steve Kerr said today (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Kuminga went through a 3-on-3 workout today and the club will likely make a decision tomorrow on his status.

As for the team’s other lottery pick, Moses Moody was assigned today to the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League. However, after playing in Santa Cruz’s game tonight, he’ll back with Golden State on Saturday, tweets Slater. If Damion Lee, who is questionable with a shoulder contusion, is unable to play tomorrow, Moody could see some action, Kerr said (Twitter link via Slater).

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • It’s just not Warriors players who are on the mend from injuries — assistant coach Kenny Atkinson injured his leg during a recent workout and will be off the bench indefinitely until the injury heals, according to Slater (Twitter link).
  • Nemanja Bjelica has been known primarily as a shooter since entering the NBA, but he’s proving this season with the Warriors that he has a more well-rounded game, writes Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s a great passer, and just a really good basketball player,” Kerr said. “… I think that’s who our team has always been. That’s why guys with good feel have always been a great fit with us. He’s absolutely a great fit. The guys love playing with him. The ball moves when he’s out there, he spaces the floor, and he forces the defense to react. He’s a fun guy to play with.” Bjelica signed a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the club in August.
  • In case you missed it, Golden State exercised its 2022/23 team options on Jordan Poole and James Wiseman, guaranteeing their salaries for next season.

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 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 “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).