Warriors

Kerr offers intriguing NBA comp for Warriors rookie Moody

Warriors
Moses Moody

The Warriors elected to focus on the future in the 2021 NBA Draft, selecting young wings Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody with picks No. 7 and No. 14, respectively.

While the Warriors plan to vault back into NBA title contention this season, the prevailing thought is that Kuminga and Moody won't be asked to play a big role, at least initially. Where Golden State threw James Wiseman in the deep end last season, the Warriors have more depth on this season's roster and therefore can bring the rookies along gradually, looking at any significant contribution they make as a bonus.

Still, Steve Kerr has been impressed with Kuminga and Moody so far, and even offered an interesting NBA comparison for Moody in a conversation with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami.

“He is big. Long arms and muscular, he’s a really strong guy, and so young," Kerr told Kawakami of Kuminga. "What’s funny is if you look back and see a rookie picture of anybody -- pick your player -- LeBron James, Steph Curry, anybody, if you see a picture of them now versus when they were rookies, what are you thinking? ‘Look how skinny that guy is. Look how thin that guy is.’ And so when you look at Kuminga and Moody now, just imagine what they’re going to look like in four years.

"Especially Kuminga, because of the way he’s built. He’s going to add a lot of muscle and pure strength that’s going to suit him well. As he gains more and more knowledge of the NBA game, he’ll have a greater and greater chance to make an impact.

 

"Moody just looks like a traditional 3-and-D guy. I keep saying Trevor Ariza in terms of the body type, the arm length, the shooting ability and obviously the intelligence. Obviously, Ariza has had a great career and hopefully Moody has something similar. Moody looks like a guy who belongs on the NBA court and obviously, he’s still really young.”

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Ariza, 36, is a 17-year NBA veteran who was an important piece on the Los Angeles Lakers' 2009 NBA championship roster. For his career, Ariza is averaging 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 35.2 percent from 3-point range.

The UCLA product has had a long and successful NBA career, and if that's the baseline for what the Warriors hope Moody can become then Golden State will have found a good one at No. 14 overall.

As for Kuminga, the 18-year-old impressed during Summer League and there is a feeling that he can offer more than initially expected right out of the gate.

With the return of Klay Thompson looming, the Warriors should be right back in the thick of the Western Conference race this season, and the future will look awfully bright if the early returns for Kuminga and Moody are correct.

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