While Jonathan Kuminga’s athletic exploits this summer are going viral, his teenage teammate on the Warriors is taking a quieter approach to introducing himself to the NBA.
Moses Moody is playing the long game, as in zeroing in from beyond the arc.
The 14th overall pick in the July draft rang up a game-high 22 points in 23 minutes as the Warriors wiped out a 12-point deficit in posting a 94-84 Las Vegas Summer League victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday in Las Vegas.
Moody was 8-of-14 from the field, 3-of-6 from distance and 3-of-3 from the line. In addition to the soft triples, he invaded the paint, dunking a lob pass, dropping in a floater and even a hook shot.
“He’s got some craftiness,” Summer League head coach Kris Weems said. “We talked about him playing at the speed of the game and letting the game come to him. Tonight, he was way more aggressive. He was into his pull-up game, but then running the floor, he got a lob over the top, got a layup, got to the foul line.
“And, of course, he’s a knock-down shooter, especially from corners.”
What Moody put on display matched what was advertised. He was described by Eric Musselman, his coach at Arkansas, as a solid all-around player with a knack for scoring and a distinct feel for the game. Moody, 19, expresses confidence in his scoring ability and believes it will earn him playing time as a rookie.
On this night, the 6-foot-6, 205-pound wing seemed to make scoring a point of emphasis.
“Just coming out with an aggressive mindset, trying to do what I can,” he said. “Different games, with different teams, calls for a different approach. They didn’t have much of a large inside presence, so I felt like getting to the cup would be a little bit easier in this game.”
In four NBA Summer League games – one in Sacramento, three in Vegas – Moody is averaging 17.5 points, tying Kuminga for the team-high. Moody is shooting 41.7 percent (25 of 60) from the field, including 45.5 percent (10 of 22) beyond the arc, and 83.3 percent (10 of 12) from the line.
Each game, Moody seems to show something different. An adjustment here, another there. He has not been much of a playmaker, with only five assists in four games, but his presence at both ends is evident.
“He’s starting to figure things out,” Weems said of Moody. “Learning how to play, especially in these environments, can only help him.”
Moody went to dinner with a few teammates the other night, including Steph Curry, saying the occasion was less about veterans offering pointers than about new teammates getting to know each other as people.
Referring to Curry as “the OG,” Moody said he now has someone willing to teach him about golf.
For now, it’s about learning the ways of the NBA. Vegas Summer League represents the first toe in the water. It only gets deeper.