Warriors

Mulder shares first impressions of Dubs rookies Kuminga, Moody

Warriors

Mychal Mulder made it a point of his to travel to Las Vegas for the NBA Summer League in early August. He wasn't playing in the tournament and wasn't really too concerned about using the time as an opportunity to train or practice, but wanted the chance to get to know the younger players in the Warriors' organization. 

Two of those players were, of course, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, the Nos. 7 and 14 overall picks from the 2021 draft.

"We can spend some time together on the court, off the court, just getting to know each other well, get that chemistry going right from the jump." Mulder told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kendra Andrews and Grant Liffmann on the Dubs Talk Podcast. "Next season starts now so we all felt that it was important to get this stop in Vegas. If even we weren't playing, wanted to make sure to get some practice in with the new guys, get some workouts in and get to know each other a little bit."

Mulder's first impression of Kuminga and Moody can be summed up in one word: mature. 

This maturity displayed itself in two ways. One was from the mindset the two teenagers possessed. 

"They're really willing to learn. Ready to learn," Mulder said.

Being able to learn might not seem like a big deal, but it is. These two rookies are entering a situation that's relatively uncommon for high lottery picks. Usually, a team with not just one, but two, top-15 draft picks is in some sort of rebuild mode and is certainly not trying to contend for a championship. But the Warriors are. They already have their core and aren't looking for Kuminga or Moody to take on any big roles their first year in the league.

 

Instead, this rookie season will be about their development. 

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They will be asked to take a backseat, and the fact that they already are accepting of that is encouraging for the Warriors at large.

The second way their maturity manifested itself is in their talent.

"They are highly skilled," Mulder said. "JK has a great skillset to him. He's a bigger guy who does a great job getting into the lane, making decisions at the rim ... He's got an NBA body. He's ready. He's physical. He doesn't get bumped off the ball or nothing like that, he gets to his spot.

"Moody has a lot of moves as well. He can shoot the ball really well, handle the ball in pick and roll situations, and they both defend. I've been impressed with that."

There is still a lot for Kuminga and Moody to develop, and they are well aware of that. But having a good foundation is a much-needed starting point. And having their older teammates, such as Mulder, pick up on that is yet another encouraging sign for what is to come.

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