Kuminga & Moody: post-Draft reactions
Sorting out the reasoning behind the picks
The following are our resident NBA Draft aficionados Dulow Twist and Gabe Johnson’s reactions on the Lottery selections of Jonathan Kuminga at 7 and Moses Moody at 14. Poor Man’s Commish (PMC) will have his own follow-up take coming up about all the Kuminga angst that seems to be growing, at least on social media. We took a quick poll of our private Discord members and found that they’d prefer one giant article like this that contains both Kuminga and Moody reactions.
Gabe: Kuminga is a big upside swing who probably won’t help much next year. That said, I feel cautiously optimistic about the pick. The Warriors retain trade value here and take a guy who has a shot of becoming a real star.
They are trusting a lot in their new player development staff, namely Jama Mahlalela and Kenny Atkinson — whereas the assumption is Dejan Milojevic will specialize in developing James Wiseman — to get the most out of their young pick, as Kuminga is the second-youngest player in the whole draft (Josh Primo is the youngest).
Dulow: Kuminga oozes potential and makes one wonder what he can be in three to four years. Right now he is a raw athlete and undersized power forward, yet the athletic measurables lend themselves to conclude that he could become a dynamic small forward in the vein of Kawhi Leonard. Provided his shooting and passing skills reach NBA level to complement his physical gifts, his potential is limitless.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers referred to Kuminga as a “wing” which means they are going to try to develop him into a small forward. This season showed the dominance from that wing position we typically see from LeBron James, Paul George, Leonard, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Golden State wants one of their own and Kuminga is their gamble based on his physical profile.
The new player development coaches and support infrastructure are in place to help Kuminga become a vital part of the franchise going forward.
Per a source via PMC, the Dubs’ Summer League team is likely to bring Kuminga’s older brother Joel Natambwe into the G-league affiliate to help him adjust to NBA life:
The Warriors have a unique opportunity to bring a physical marvel along slowly. Kuminga has no pressure to start or even be a rotation player this year, which is extremely rare for a top-half Lottery pick. He can watch Andrew Wiggins and Juan Toscano-Anderson play this year and absorb minutes as a 12th- to 15th-man on the roster. While that isn't enticing for an aging roster with a thinning title window, it is the situation. If Myers hits on this pick, the team will have a star in 2025 to help build around.
In the meantime, Kuminga might be a decent asset for a future trade. For now he might be tabbed to spend some time in the G-League as it is unlikely he will be able to play any meaningful minutes this year. All in all, the Kuminga pick was a future upside swing that we all hope pays off in the next few years.
PMC: As mentioned above, I have more to say about this, but I’m pleased Gabe and Dulow were able to put forth their takes in an erudite manner. Kuminga was not their preferred pick, but at least they understand the reasoning behind Myers’ selection and have explained it well here to the fans and have not thrown the Warriors front office or Kuminga himself under the bus in the process.
Shooting straight, I do not completely buy Gabe and Dulow’s (and everyone else’s) assumption that Kuminga won’t contribute a lot this season, as the NBA season is a marathon, simply put, but again, I’ll get into that later.
Gabe: I LOVE THIS PICK SO MUCH!!! I have been on our Discord server advocating for Moody at 7, and I can’t believe he fell to them at 14. He is such a no-brainer fit for the Warriors and will buy us patience with Kuminga on the wing. This might be the steal of the draft.
Dulow: Moody is a natural wing with the prototypical length and feel for the game. Myers also considers him a wing and the organization was widely lauded for the selection. Moody has been referred to as a steal on ESPN by Jay Bilas and Kendrick Perkins.
I am very high on Moody being a good NBA player for a long time. He has prototypical 3&D ability. His jumper is lethal and has deep range and he fits the team's offense to a T. He played for University of Arkansas and former NBA head coach (of the Cohan-era Warriors!) Eric Musselman who employed numerous motion offense concepts and that will ease the transition from the NCAA to the NBA, despite Moody being only 19 years old.
He may have a Mikal Bridges- or Danny Green-like impact in the future, but will be able to play meaningful minutes right away. With factors such as Klay Thompson’s injury, the uncertainty of fringe players Mychal Mulder and Damion Lee, as well as that of free agents Kent Bazemore and Kelly Oubre, there are potential minutes to be had at both shooting guard and small forward.
Moody's maturity and professionalism will earn him respect with the coaching staff and veterans right away. Bottom line, this is a fantastic pick for now and for the future.
PMC: I wrote that the Warriors were looking specifically for wings, and I still remember the first day I found out Moody had a 7-foot wingspan from looking up the Combine measurements (for Ziaire Williams, no less). Then I enthusiastically hit the Discord server with that discovery, and Gabe chimed in with a glowing report.
At that moment, I was relieved Moody could pass as a wing with that wingspan because I wasn’t having much luck finding guys like that until the days later when the likes of Jalen Johnson, Kai Jones, Isaiah Jackson, and Trey Murphy III appeared further down on the mock boards. Moody was more of a sure thing along these, shall we say, “non-potential-future-All-Star” wings. Dulow concurred.
The scouting reports of Moody on YouTube seemed to confirm justification as far up as the 7th pick, the Zoom call with him after his first Warriors workout seemed to suggest high character, humility, and IQ, and I actually didn’t need to see much more because I was simply in love with his freakish wingspan.
Now, I’ve said already that I would’ve preferred Jones as more of an upside play as the 14th pick, for perhaps being able to guard Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2024 NBA Finals — and I never found the time to confirm the highlights of Kai by watching actual game tape — but Moody was my original choice and I’m happy with it as he sort of fits the blueprint of an Andre Iguodala type that Myers, Steve Kerr and Joe Lacob learned was needed as an eventual unsung pillar of the Golden State franchise, and as required in the modern NBA.
I'm happy with the picks and eagerly awaiting the summer league. Thanks for the insights, guys!
Kuminga's G-league shooting stats are subpar. But it's a very small sample size, just 13 games in the bubble. On such a small sample size, the difference between 24% on 3s and 42% on 3s is not necessarily meaningful.