Warriors

Why Kuminga, Moody set up for easier transition than Wiseman

Warriors
Moses Moody

Every NBA rookie needs development. It doesn't matter if you're considered the most NBA-ready player in the draft class or the rawest prospect. 

With Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, who the Warriors took with the No. 7 and No. 14 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, Golden State has both of those kinds of players. And if you add in James Wiseman, the Warriors have three young players who need to grow. 

Next season Wiseman will be in his second year in the league, but with his inaugural NBA season plagued by obstacles, he only has a slight advantage over his new teammates. By the time the regular season starts in October, Kuminga and Moody may even be further along than Wiseman. 

Summer League starts in nine days, which is a crucial part of a rookie's acclimation to the NBA. It's the time when newly drafted players learn how their team operates and get an idea of what they will be asked to do. Wiseman missed that opportunity since Summer League was canceled last year, and frankly, it showed.

In addition to getting Summer League under their belts, Kuminga and Moody also will participate in training camp -- barring any healthy issues -- which Wiseman also missed. In fact, Wiseman only got one full practice with the Warriors before his first game for Golden State, forcing him to learn on the fly more than any rookie should have to. 

 
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But besides the prep work, the Warriors also will be asking Kuminga and Moody to take on roles that will be better suited for them to succeed than they did with Wiseman. 

It's very rare that a rookie walks onto a team contending for the playoffs or a championship and has an immediate game-changing impact. But that's what the Warriors were asking Wiseman to do as he was playing catch-up. They will not ask the same of their 2021 draft picks. 

Kuminga likely will spend a lot of time with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League, while Moody will have a smaller role in the second unit toward the end of the bench. Even players such as Juan Toscano-Anderson, Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney will have much clearer roles at the start of the season, which none of them had last year. 

All of this will allow Kuminga and Moody to have a more steady introduction and transition to the NBA than Wiseman did a year ago.

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