Moses Moody

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.

Fischer’s Latest: Tucker, Suns, Warriors, Mavs, Blazers, Graham

After being traded from Philadelphia to the Clippers earlier this season, veteran forward P.J. Tucker is a “strong” candidate to be moved again ahead of the February 8 deadline, says Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

According to Fischer, Washington is viewed as a potential trade destination for Tucker, who would likely be bought out if he’s sent to the Wizards. In that scenario, the Suns and Bucks would be among the teams expected to pursue the 38-year-old on the buyout market, Fischer adds.

Tucker is earning $11MM this season, with an $11.5MM player option for 2024/25, so unless he gives up a significant portion of his remaining money in a buyout agreement, he’d still have a real impact on his team’s salary cap for next season. With that in mind, the Wizards (or another trade partner) would presumably want a solid asset or two as a sweetener to take on his contract, especially if they’re also giving up a rotation-caliber player in the process.

Here’s more from Fischer:

  • The Suns are one of the more active teams on the trade market and have explored what a package that includes Grayson Allen and Nassir Little could bring back, Fischer reports. Those efforts are complicated by the fact that Phoenix’s draft assets consist of just four second-round picks, according to Fischer, who points out too that Allen has been arguably the team’s most important players outside of its three stars.
  • Although the Warriors and Mavericks have displayed interest in Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, Golden State has shown little desire to part with either Jonathan Kuminga or Moses Moody, Fischer writes. As for the Mavs, they’ve been linked to many forwards, per Fischer, including Andrew Wiggins, P.J. Washington of the Hornets, and former Mav Dorian Finney-Smith, now a member of the Nets.
  • Jerami Grant is the sort of player who would appeal to teams like the Mavericks and Kings, but the Trail Blazers aren’t expected to seriously consider offers for the veteran forward, according to Fischer. Portland guard Malcolm Brogdon, on the other hand, is viewed as a more viable trade candidate.
  • In addition to veterans like Doug McDermott and Cedi Osman, who were previously identified as trade candidates, guard Devonte’ Graham is another Spurs player who is available via trade, sources tell Fischer. Graham has been out of San Antonio’s rotation all season and has a $12.1MM cap hit for this season, with a $2.85MM partial guarantee for 2024/25, so he presumably won’t have positive value.

Western Notes: Kuminga, Moody, Suns, Mavs, Hawkins

While the Warriors appear open to various trade possibilities, Sam Vecenie of The Athletic hears Golden State’s front office isn’t actively shopping 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.

According to Vecenie’s sources, GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. places a high value on both young players and prefers to keep them, but he also recognizes that other teams value them as well. It remains to be seen how things will shake out over the next three-plus weeks until the February 8 deadline.

Vecenie’s full article focuses on this season’s trade candidates, with Pascal Siakam, Dejounte Murray and Zach LaVine at the top of his trade board.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Suns‘ “big three” rotation was slow to form with all three players dealing with various injuries in 2023/24, particularly Bradley Beal, who has been limited to 15 games thus far. However, in recent games, head coach Frank Vogel seems to have settled on a substitution pattern he likes, as Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic details.
  • Star guard Luka Doncic will miss Monday’s game vs. New Orleans — his third straight absence — due to a right ankle sprain, the Mavericks announced (via Twitter). Starting forward Derrick Jones Jr. is a new addition to the injury report — he’s sidelined with a right calf contusion. Rookie center Dereck Lively, meanwhile, will return from a five-game absence after dealing with a left ankle sprain, and Maxi Kleber will be active for the second straight contest after a lengthy absence due to a toe injury.
  • With the Pelicans near full strength, rookie guard Jordan Hawkins had received erratic playing time of late. That changed in a major way during Saturday’s victory over Dallas, writes Christian Clark of CJ McCollum, Trey Murphy, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson all missed the contest — the second of a back-to-back — for various reasons, creating an opening for Hawkins, who responded with a career-high 34 points (on 11-of-19 shooting), five rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes. “I was just playing basketball,” Hawkins said. “Early in the season, I got a chance to play a lot. I wasn’t really nervous or anything. I looked at it like, ‘I’m going to hoop and show what I can do.’ No CJ, Trey, BI or Z. I knew the shots were going to be there. I just had to make them.”

Warriors’ Moses Moody Out At Least 10 Days

Third-year wing Moses Moody will miss the remainder of the Warriors‘ road trip due to a left calf strain and will be reevaluated in 10 days, head coach Steve Kerr told reporters, including Kendra Andrews of ESPN (Twitter link).

Huge loss,” Kerr said of Moody (Twitter link via Kerith Burke of NBC Sports Bay Area).

Moody will miss at least five games, with January 24 vs. Atlanta being the soonest he could possibly return. In a press release (via Twitter), the Warriors say Moody sustained a Grade 1 calf strain in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s blowout loss to New Orleans and classify the strain as mild.

Moody will join Gary Payton II (left hamstring strain) and Chris Paul (hand surgery) on Golden State’s list of injured players. What once looked like an area of strength — backcourt depth — will be further tested in the coming days. Rookie Brandin Podziemski and veteran Cory Joseph will likely receive an uptick in playing time with Moody out.

Still just 21 years old, Moody 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.

One report last week said Moody was looking for a more consistent role with Golden State, particularly after receiving three straight DNP-CDs. Moody tied his season high with 21 points in each of the past two games, playing 22 and 25 minutes, though Golden State lost both times.

The Warriors are currently 17-20, the No. 12 seed in the Western Conference. Amid their slide down the standings, they’ve been increasingly mentioned in recent trade rumors.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Trade Deadline, Thompson, Green, Kerr

There was talk about the need for change Wednesday night as the Warriors‘ season continued to spin out of control with an embarrassing home loss to the Pelicans, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. The game was never close after Golden State allowed 46 points in the first quarter, and fans loudly expressed their displeasure as the team suffered its worst home loss in 17 years.

“You get to a point where you’re trying to explain it, trying to figure out what can change specifically that can help us,” Stephen Curry said. “Those conversations are happening in between games, in film sessions, in the locker room. But it’s headed in the opposite direction. I don’t know what to say about it. We’re not used to this vibe around our team. … It all sucks.”

Andrews points out that after Draymond Green was suspended four weeks ago, general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. said the next 15-20 games would determine the course of the season. Wednesday marked the Warriors’ 14th straight game without Green, and they’ve fallen to 12th in the Western Conference standings at 17-20. Andrews notes that none of coach Steve Kerr’s lineup changes are working and he appeared to be out of answers after the latest loss.

“We are lacking confidence,” he said. “You get to a stage where you lose your belief.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Tim Kawakami of The Athletic lays out a blueprint for what the organization might do before the trade deadline arrives in four weeks. Kawakami expects management to remain committed to Curry as the centerpiece of the team, with a goal of finding the right pieces to go around him for next season. Andrew Wiggins is likely to be moved, according to Kawakami, even if Golden State has to attach a young player or a first-round pick to get someone to take his contract. He adds that the organization would prefer to hold onto its prospects, but Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis are all looking like complementary players rather than future stars. Kawakami also suggests that the front office might be willing to gamble on a deal for Toronto’s Pascal Siakam if they don’t have to part with Kuminga, or they may seek a reliable big man to change their style of play.
  • Two long-time franchise staples might not have secure futures beyond this season, Kawakami adds in the same piece. He expects the Warriors to let Klay Thompson play out his contract and see if they can agree to terms in free agency this summer, and he speculates that the organization may no longer be counting on Green long-term after this year’s suspension issues.
  • Erik Spoelstra’s eight-year extension in Miami could affect negotiations with Kerr this offseason, states Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. He observes that Kerr is in position to demand a higher annual salary than the Heat gave to Spoelstra, but it’s not clear if management will be on board considering the team’s current trajectory.

Warriors Notes: Moody, Podziemski, Joseph, CP3, Siakam

While Jonathan Kuminga‘s frustration with his fluctuating role was the bigger news this week, it sounds like he’s not the only Warriors youngster who has sought clarity on his place in the team’s rotation. According to Jason Dumas of KRON4 News (Twitter link), general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. has been “directly asked” about the team’s plan for Moses Moody, who would also like a more consistent role.

“The people around Moses, they’re frustrated with the lack of having a role and the lack of consistency,” Dumas said during a subsequent radio appearance on 95.7 The Game (Twitter video link). “He’s in the rotation one day, he’s out of the rotation one day. For lack of a better term, he almost seems like the sacrificial lamb, so to speak. Whenever there’s a logjam, he’s gonna be the guy that falls out.

“From what I’ve been told, Moses loves the Bay Area and he loves playing for the Warriors, but I think it’s understandable that someone in his position with a lot of talent, young, would be frustrated and would want a clearer path to playing time, whether it be here or somewhere else.”

Moody was a DNP-CD for three consecutive games leading up to Friday’s contest vs. the Pistons. The third-year shooting guard received a standing ovation when he checked into that game in the fourth quarter, as Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), though he ultimately went scoreless in six minutes of action.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Chris Paul‘s hand injury will help create more regular minutes in the rotation for Moody, head coach Steve Kerr confirmed on Friday (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Kerr said that rookie Brandin Podziemski and veteran Cory Joseph will also get some additional ball-handling reps during Paul’s absence.
  • Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic doesn’t expect Paul’s hand injury to have much of an impact on his trade value, even if it sidelines him beyond the February 8 deadline. As Thompson explains, if the Warriors decide to move CP3, they’d likely be sending him to a team that wants him more for his large expiring salary than for what he can provide on the court.
  • Appearing on a Bleacher Report live stream on Friday (Twitter video link), veteran NBA reporter Chris Haynes said that rival executives view Golden State as a potential “dark horse” suitor in the Pascal Siakam sweepstakes.
  • Prior to Friday’s victory over Detroit, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer questioned some of the Warriors’ rotation decisions and took a deep dive into the club’s recent struggles, while Marcus Thompson II covered similar ground in a story for The Athletic.