Moses Moody

Pacific Notes: M. Brown, Moody, Westbrook, Durant

While there has been some chatter about Mike Brown‘s contract situation since the Kings‘ season ended last week, Brown denied on Wednesday that the issue is “top of mind” as he enters the summer, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

“It’s not, really, at the end of the day,” Brown said. “I have one year left on my deal. Everybody knows that, but I’m excited about being here. I’m excited about our future, so I’m going to go into this summer trying to figure out how we can be better next year.”

Brown technically has two years left on his contract, but the 2025/26 season is a mutual option, meaning both he and the Kings would have to opt in. Since ’24/25 is his last guaranteed season, the two sides may feel compelled to try to get a new deal done sooner rather than later. Brown is reportedly expected to seek a deal that’s in line with the new market for head coaches after Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich, and Monty Williams signed lucrative contracts in the past year.

“Look at a two-year horizon here, which is when Coach Brown and his staff came in, and (there are) a lot of positives,” general manager Monte McNair said on Wednesday. “We’re certainly disappointed this year, and Mike and I will sit down and try to figure out how we get back to where we want to get to. And, yeah, we’ll have all those conversations here starting soon.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Within a discussion about a few Warriors-related subjects, Anthony Slater of The Athletic notes that it will be an interesting offseason for Moses Moody. The former 14th overall pick will be extension-eligible beginning in July and should be in line for a larger role next season, especially if Klay Thompson leaves in free agency or if Golden State trades Andrew Wiggins. “I think it’s really important coming into year four for (Moody) that there is some reasonable playing time available for him where he can impact our team and be out there and continue to improve,” general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said this week.
  • The Clippers have been better both offensively and defensively when Russell Westbrook is on the court during the first two games of their series against Dallas, according to Law Murray of The Athletic, who suggests that Westbrook’s contributions are critical to counter the Mavericks’ small lineups. Westbrook can become a free agent this offseason if he turns down a $4MM player option for 2024/25.
  • In a feature for ESPN.com, Baxter Holmes explores Kevin Durant‘s return from a 2019 Achilles tear, an injury that the Suns‘ star forward thought might end his run as an All-NBA-level player. As Holmes writes, Durant’s intense love of the game helped fuel his recovery process and allowed him to eventually regain his All-NBA form.

Western Notes: J. Green, Doncic, Warriors, Suns, Jazz

Josh Green‘s sprained right ankle is expected to sideline him for at least a couple weeks or so, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd told reporters, including Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link), on Sunday.

Green had been a key part of Dallas’ rotation in recent weeks, averaging 10.2 points per game on .522/.438/.826 shooting in his past 24 games leading up to Thursday’s contest in Oklahoma City, which he exited after just four minutes when he injured his ankle.

The Mavericks did share some more positive injury news on Sunday, announcing that Luka Doncic will be available vs. Denver this afternoon after missing Thursday’s game due to a hamstring ailment (Twitter link via MacMahon).

Let’s round up a few more items from around the Western Conference:

  • Moses Moody, Kevon Looney, and Dario Saric were all DNP-CDs on Saturday for the Warriors, while Gary Payton II played just seven minutes as head coach Steve Kerr tightened his rotation, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Payton figures to be “peppered into the mix” going forward, Slater says, but Moody is being pushed out of the rotation and Looney and Saric are on the outside looking in. “It is tough,” Stephen Curry said. “Loon, Moses, Dario, probably in that order — especially Loon and Moses — there’s probably going to be times where they’re going to be needed. They’ll be ready. That’s the challenge they face. But this time of year, building an identity of how we want to play, that (tightened rotation is) huge.”
  • Kevin Durant said he’s “excited” for Isaiah Thomas to join the Suns and head coach Frank Vogel called the veteran guard a “hell of a player,” per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Vogel noted that adding Thomas will help Phoenix preserve the four active games remaining on Saben Lee‘s two-way contract.
  • Jazz head coach Will Hardy was upset by how his team played on Saturday vs. Minnesota, telling reporters after the game that there were far too many instances of players attempting to force the issue themselves when teammates were open. “Stats don’t mean s–t. I don’t care about your individual stats,” Hardy said, according to Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune. “I don’t care how many points you score. I don’t care what you post on Instagram. It doesn’t matter. It’s a team sport, play to win. And we have to nip this in the bud now because — I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again — there will not be free minutes in this program. So you’re either gonna start learning and you’re going to start playing the right way and you’re gonna start participating with your teammates, or you’re not gonna play.”

Andrew Wiggins Reports Back To Warriors

Veteran forward Andrew Wiggins has rejoined the Warriors after missing the past four games due to family matter, according to Kendra Andrews of ESPN, who tweeted a video of Wiggins at practice.

Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic first reported that Wiggins was flying into the Bay Area and reporting to the team on Tuesday after tending to a personal family matter.

Golden State is back in action on Wednesday at home vs. the Bucks, and Wiggins is expected to be active for that game, head coach Steve Kerr said today (Twitter link via Andrews). He’ll likely be reinserted into the starting lineup, though he may be on a minutes restriction.

Moses Moody played well as a starting forward in Wiggins’ absence, but he’s in danger of falling out of the club’s crowded rotation again with the former No. 1 overall pick set to return. Moody averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 rebounds on .500/.400/.500 shooting in his four starts, three of which were Warriors wins. The one loss was an ugly one — the Dubs were blown out by 52 points on Sunday in Boston.

Wiggins missed the final 25 games of the 2022/23 season due to personal reasons, returning just before the postseason began.

Pacific Notes: Moody, Kings, Nurkic, Stoudemire

Moses Moody‘s strong defense on Jalen Brunson was one of the keys to the Warriors‘ victory over the Knicks in New York on Thursday, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The 21-year-old wing has experienced inconsistent playing time throughout his first three NBA seasons, but he had an unusually grounded take on the way his role has fluctuated to this point in his career.

It’s real life,” Moody said. “Different things happen. You gotta be able to keep your head, control your emotions. All my friends are in that space where they’re leaving college, trying to figure out life. Everybody’s going through different adversities. Who am I to think I should have an easy road to whatever I want? It’s just kind of how it goes.”

The 14th pick of the 2021 draft, Moody will be eligible for a rookie scale extension in the offseason. He’s currently starting in place of Andrew Wiggins, who is away from the team for personal reasons.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Prior to Friday’s overtime victory over the Wolves in Minnesota, the Kings held a players-only meeting that lasted about 35 minutes, per Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee. It was the first time the team held such a meeting since Mike Brown became head coach in 2022/23. “We had a team meeting to talk about (how) we have to take this s–t seriously because we got 23 games left now,” Malik Monk said after Friday’s game. “The coaches are going to say what they’re going to say, but we’re out they’re playing. We knew we had to come together and outwork somebody.” Monk finished with a season-high 39 points, including 35 after halftime, and Brown was “thrilled” that the players took accountability for their up-and-down play, Biderman adds.
  • Suns center Jusuf Nurkic pulled down a career-high 31 rebounds on Sunday vs. Oklahoma City — the most in an NBA game in 13 years and a new franchise record for Phoenix — but he wasn’t in a celebratory mood after the loss, according to a report from ESPN.com. “I don’t know, man, I’m just trying to do my role the best I can. But it’s kind of really messed up when you have 13 offensive rebounds and 16 shots then zero free throws,” Nurkic said. “As hard as I work, and I feel like [I’m] getting fouled as [much as] anybody in the league. And I’m not here saying — we lost the game, it is what it is — [but] it’s just, it’s not really common sense. At least one [free throw]. [To] not even have one? But I know it happens. I ain’t the first one, and I ain’t going to be the last, either, unfortunately.”
  • On Saturday, former Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire — one of the most electrifying dunkers in league history — was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor. Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports passes along several quotes from the occasion.

Warriors Notes: Paul, Wiggins, Moody, Rotation, Curry, Kerr

Playing on Tuesday for the first time since January 5 after recovering from a left hand fracture, Chris Paul helped lead the Warriors to a victory in Washington, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. In 22 minutes off the bench, Paul contributed nine points, six assists, four rebounds, and four steals. The Warriors, who won the game by 11 points, outscored the Wizards by 17 during Paul’s time on the floor.

“All season long, he’s been such a high performer,” head coach Steve Kerr said after the win. “All of our best lineups, he’s in.”

As Slater notes, the Warriors initially expected to finally have their full rotation available on Tuesday, but Andrew Wiggins missed the game for personal reasons. Kerr, who didn’t offer any specifics on when Wiggins might rejoin the team, inserted Moses Moody into the starting lineup in his place. Although Moody had been out of the rotation, Kerr didn’t want to alter his new second unit, which now features Paul playing alongside Klay Thompson.

When Wiggins returns, Golden State will have no shortage of rotation options, with Moody and Lester Quinones likely among those on the outside looking in. Slater suggests that Stephen Curry, Brandin Podziemski, Jonathan Kuminga, Draymond Green, Gary Payton II, Wiggins, Paul, and Thompson will all be candidates for closing lineups, with Dario Saric, Kevon Looney, and Trayce Jackson-Davis vying for minutes too.

“Steve said he’ll try to figure it out,” Paul said of potentially playing a reduced role in a crowded rotation. “Said sometimes he might mess it up. But we got a really good group of guys on this team, and we’ll need different things every night. But one thing about me, though, is I know who I am and what I’m capable of. Ain’t no question about that. I’ll always be ready. I think he knows that.”

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • While Paul figures to spend a little time playing alongside Curry, the plan is to have him on the court for all of the non-Curry minutes, according to Slater. The two-time MVP has shot just 31.5% from the field over the past three games, including 21.6% on three-pointers, so CP3’s return should allow the team to reduce his workload and have him play off the ball a bit more. “Steph has looked tired to me the last couple games,” Kerr said after Sunday’s loss to Denver, per Slater. “It makes sense. He did the All-Star Game stuff, not getting much of a break — three games in four nights. He looks a little tired. These stretches happen.”
  • Kerr said on Tuesday after officially finalizing his two-year contract extension that he felt “very comfortable” signing a relatively short-term deal, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN.com. “We’re in a really unique situation where we have an era that’s winding down and another that’s coming,” Kerr said. “We’re trying to make them merge and make the most of that this year and next year … let’s keep it rolling for another couple of years and then reassess it.”
  • Asked during an appearance on the Club 520 podcast which of the Warriors’ four championship teams was his favorite, Green cited the 2021/22 squad, since it wasn’t viewed as a title favorite entering that postseason. “2022 wasn’t really a championship team (compared to) the championship teams I’ve been on,” Green said (hat tip to BasketNews.com). “After every series, me and Steph would be walking to do an interview after we won a series, and we’d walk and laugh like, ‘Yo, how are we winning these series right now?'”

Klay Thompson Discusses Latest Fourth Quarter Benching

Longtime Warriors star Klay Thompson sat out the final 7:19 of Golden State’s victory over Brooklyn on Monday, marking the second time in the past three games that he has been on the bench down the stretch in non-garbage-time minutes.

Thompson was part of the Warriors’ closing lineup on Saturday in Atlanta, but didn’t play the final 7:40 of Friday’s win over Memphis and was benched on Monday in favor of rookie Gui Santos, who had his best game as a pro in logging a career-high 18 minutes.

Asked after Monday’s win about his changing role and the fact that he’s no longer on a lock to be part of Golden State’s crunch-time lineup, Thompson said that winning is the most important thing, but admitted the adjustment hasn’t been easy, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN and Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

“Yeah, you kidding me?” Thompson said. “To go from, you know, one of the best players … it’s hard for anybody. I’ll be honest with you. It’s very hard.”

A five-time All-Star who led the NBA in three-pointers last season, Thompson is making 37.1% of his attempts from beyond the arc in 2023/24. That’s a solid rate for many players, but for Thompson, it represents a career low. Additionally, his 17.1 points per game are the fewest he has averaged since 2012/13.

“He’s fine,” head coach Steve Kerr said on Monday, according to Bontemps. “This is a season where he’s had a lot of ups and downs. It’s not easy for a guy who’s been so good and a Hall of Fame player to deal with the injuries and … it’s never easy for any player, getting older. (But) he’s mentally tough.”

Kerr added that, while there’s a “spotlight” on Thompson because of his career résumé, the story on Monday should be about how well role players like Santos, Moses Moody, and Lester Quinones performed off the bench to help the Warriors secure a road win. Thompson highlighted those performances by his teammates in explaining why he’s trying not to let his late-game benching bother him.

“I’ve accepted it,” Thompson said. “You can be mad. But I’m not going to be mad. I’m happy for these young guys. Yeah, we won. It’s hard to get wins in this league. … It’s all good. These guys played great. Gui played great. BP (Brandin Podziemski). Jonathan (Kuminga). At the end of the day, winning trumps all.”

Thompson is on an expiring contract and his name has popped up occasionally in the rumor mill leading up to Thursday’s trade deadline, but ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently reported the Warriors have no interest in moving the veteran sharpshooter.

Slater expressed a belief last month that Golden State will ultimately work out a new contract with Thompson, who reportedly turned down a two-year extension offer from the team prior to the season.

Warriors Notes: Green, Podziemski, Kuminga, Moody, Saric

Draymond Green expects to receive a large share of the blame if the Warriors can’t get back into title contention, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Green’s absence from the lineup during two suspensions disrupted the first half of Golden State’s season and played a significant role in a 21-24 start. Green has resumed his normal duties since returning from his latest punishment, which resulted in 16 missed games, but he knows fans and the media will single him out if the team fails to reach the playoffs.

“Who we are, what we stand for is enough of a burden,” Green said. “We’re never expected to lose. There’s a standard that’s been set. So for me, that’s enough burden. So I don’t go around thinking every day like, ‘F—, we got to make these games up that I missed.’ But what I do know is if it doesn’t get turned around, then that’s kind of what’s going to be said.”

Green told Slater that he considered signing with the Grizzlies in free agency last summer, but only for “an eensy bit of time.” He credits the Warriors’ front office for being “straightforward” in negotiations, which eventually produced a four-year, $100MM contract with a player option for the final season. Green also said owner Joe Lacob talked to him about expectations regarding his behavior before approving the deal, which had a massive effect on the team’s tax bill.

Green felt like he broke the promises he made to Lacob and didn’t pick up the phone when the owner called after the indefinite suspension was handed down in December.

“I couldn’t answer it,” Green said. “I couldn’t talk to him. I did not talk to him. I didn’t call back. I almost hid. He gave me his word and he stuck by it. I gave him my word and I’ve let him down. It was probably a little cowardly. Like, I couldn’t face the music.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Klay Thompson returned from an illness Friday night, but coach Steve Kerr replaced him with Brandin Podziemski for the closing minutes of the first half and the game, per Sam Gordon of The San Francisco Chronicle. Podziemski handed out 14 assists, which Gordon notes is the most by any rookie in a single game this season. “Love that group,” Podziemski said, pointing out the flexibility that he and Green bring to the lineup. “Having two of us out there like that, playing with Jonathan (Kuminga) and (Stephen Curry), who are really good scorers, along with (Andrew Wiggins), who picks his spots — I think it’s a good group. We played well together. Most importantly, we got stops when we needed to.”
  • Kuminga reached rare territory with his eighth straight 20-point game while shooting at least 50% from the field. Gordon states that Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Kawhi Leonard are the only other players to accomplish that this season.
  • Meeting with reporters tonight, Kerr said Moses Moody was able to work out today and should return from his left calf strain sometime in the next three games, Slater tweets. Dario Saric, who was out Friday and tonight due to an illness, is expected to rejoin the team Sunday in New York.

Pacific Notes: Warriors Rumors, Lakers, Clippers

The Warriors aren’t interested in trading Draymond Green or Klay Thompson ahead of the February 8 deadline, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, but they might consider moving Chris Paul or Andrew Wiggins.

Former No. 1 overall pick Wiggins is having a disappointing year, but he’s played much better recently, while Paul, who is currently injured after undergoing hand surgery, is 38 years old and on a pseudo-expiring contract. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, head coach Steve Kerr said he was aware of Wiggins being mentioned in trade rumors, but he hopes he’s still on the roster late next week.

I’m very hopeful and I expect him to be here when the trade deadline passes,” Kerr said, per ESPN.

As for Green and Thompson, Windhorst’s report isn’t surprising. While Shams Charania of The Athletic has said Stephen Curry will be the only Warrior off the table in trade talks, he also downplayed the possibility of a trade involving Green or Thompson, two longtime veterans who helped Golden State win four championships — and make six Finals appearances — from 2015-22. Other reporting indicated Curry would have to sign off on such a deal, which was always considered unlikely.

Here’s more from the Pacific:

  • Appearing on 95.7 The Game’s Willard and Dibs show on Wednesday (Twitter link), Kerr said the Warriors might be better served by waiting for injured players to return rather than making trades. We’re not going to find better players than (Chris Paul and Gary Payton II) in a trade,” Kerr said. “It’s exceedingly rare to make a deal where you can upgrade your talent to that level.” Payton has been out since January 2 with a grade 2 left hamstring strain. Kerr also mentioned Moses Moody as another injured contributor. As Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets, Moody will miss this weekend’s back-to-back, but he has a chance to return on Monday after being out since January 10 due to a left calf strain. Dario Saric is also out for at least Friday, as he’s away from the team with an illness.
  • After a major upset victory over the Celtics in Boston on Thursday without stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Lakers guard Austin Reaves said the team responded well to James’ frustrated comments about “doing their jobs,” which occurred after Tuesday’s lopsided loss to Atlanta (YouTube link). Reaves scored a season-high 32 points (on 10-of-18 shooting, including 7-of-10 from deep) in Thursday’s win.
  • The Clippers had more total victories in December and January than any team in the NBA. Should they even make a trade? Law Murray of The Athletic explores that topic, writing that P.J. Tucker, Bones Hyland and Brandon Boston look to be the three most likely trade candidates, but L.A. may just stand pat.
  • Tucker expressed frustration with his role — or lack thereof — in December, and nothing has changed since. However, he’s 39, doesn’t contribute much on offense, and holds a $11.54MM player option for 2024/25, which all hurt his trade value. According to Murray, the veteran forward has been a positive locker room presence, particularly for Russell Westbrook and James Harden, but the Clippers forward admits he’s trying to balance being a professional “while trying to get in a better situation for me, personally,” he told The Athletic. “It kind of is what it is at this point.” Tucker expressed skepticism about the possibility of turning down his player option, making him an unlikely buyout candidate. “That all depends on the situation, timing, where,” Tucker said. “It’s a lot of things that plays into that. I worked hard to be able to get myself in that position. The contract I got, the timing I got it, and all that … it means a lot and something I don’t take for granted. It’s definitely going to take a lot of thought and it’s going to take a real, real opportunity for me to have to go against that.”

Chris Paul To Miss At Least Two More Weeks

The Warriors will have to wait at least two weeks to get Chris Paul back in action.

Paul has been cleared to begin light on-court individual workouts with a splint on his surgically repaired left hand, the team announced on Tuesday, as relayed by ESPN’s Marc J. Spears (Twitter link). He will be reevaluated in two weeks.

Paul underwent surgery on the second metacarpal in his left hand on January 8 with a projected timetable of four-to-six weeks at that time. The latest update suggests he should return shortly after the All-Star break.

Paul suffered the injury during a January 5 game against Detroit. The veteran point guard has undergone numerous surgeries on both hands during his career. He missed his ninth consecutive game on Tuesday.

It’s not out of the question Paul has played his last game with Golden State. He’s been the subject of trade rumors, along with several of his current teammates during the Warriors’ uneven season. His $30MM salary for next season in non-guaranteed.

The Warriors also issued an update on guard Moses Moody, who has missed seven games due to a Grade 1 left calf strain. He’s been making good progress and has been cleared to practice.

Warriors’ Moody, Payton To Miss More Time With Injuries

Third-year Warriors wing Moses Moody has been cleared to resume “light individual on-court workouts” after missing the past 12 days with a grade 1 left calf strain, but he’ll be out for at least another week, which is when he’ll be reevaluated, Golden State announced (via Twitter).

Moody, 21, is averaging 8.7 PPG and 3.1 RPG in 18.0 MPG this season, with all of those figures representing career highs. The former 14th overall pick has appeared in 34 games in 2023/24, posting a .482/.358/.789 shooting line.

The Warriors also provided an injury update on veteran defensive ace Gary Payton II, who has been cleared for the same activities as Moody but will be sidelined for at least two more weeks. Payton sustained a grade 2 left hamstring strain on January 2 vs. Orlando.

Payton has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his career, including being limited to just 22 games in ’22/23. The 31-year-old was a key member of Golden State’s championship run in ’21/22.