The Twitter accounts of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were suspiciously quiet on NBA draft night, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why.
It was no secret that the trio of superstars wanted the Golden State Warriors front office to construct a quartet through the assets at their disposal on the evening of Thursday, July 29. Instead, they brought back exceptional value by drafting Jonathon Kuminga, out of G League Ignite, at No. 7; and Moses Moody, out of Arkansas, at No. 14.
Both players represent real value for the future. The only problem is, value for the future isn’t what the Warriors stars wanted.
Golden State’s Big 3 “…have made it clear to management they want the franchise to focus on the pursuit of a championship, even to consider using their two lottery picks to get someone who can help immediately, sources confirmed,” according to an article by Marcus Thompson, of The Athletic, published on July 22. “Warriors general manager Bob Myers said their goal this offseason is to add more of a veteran presence.”
While Myers said he intended to honor the wishes of his core players, and displayed that by actively pursuing trade talks involving Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Golden State management was ultimately unable to deliver a fourth star to the roster prior to the draft.
The Warriors brass did not ignore or betray the three players who have defined the franchise. But assuming there are no more maneuvers left to make, there can be no mistake made about it — Golden State leadership has failed Curry, Thompson, and Green.
Analysts React on Twitter to Warriors ‘Win-Later’ Draft
Grading the Warriors draft is difficult because it is all about perspective. Some of the reporters and analysts most well-versed and embedded with Golden State offered exactly that — perspective — via Twitter on Thursday night.
“I really like this draft for the Warriors from a value standpoint,” tweeted Anthony Slater, who covers Golden State for The Athletic. “But this is a stat that’ll be referenced plenty this season as they try to maneuver back into contention.”
Slater goes on to point out that Kuminga, who the Warriors selected at No. 7, is only 18 years old. Moody, who they chose at No. 14, is only 19. And James Wiseman, who Golden State drafted with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, is only 20 years of age.
At 6-feet, 8-inches tall, Kuminga is highly athletic and defensively versatile. The Warriors had him near the top of their draft board and found real value in the raw talent where he was selected.
Moody, a longer guard who averaged nearly 17 points per game with the University of Arkansas last season, can be an offensive contributor off the bench sooner than later and has a floor of a 3-and-D role player early in his career.
Golden State May Still Have Trade Chip to Play in Near Future
No one is saying the Warriors did not draft well or that they did not make picks that are likely to prove valuable to their long-term future.
The real criticism is that Golden State could be forfeiting another championship window by not going all-in on the short-term to capitalize on the talent they already have at their disposal.
Nick Friedell, of ESPN, tackled that topic on Twitter Thursday night.
“Kuminga/Wiseman both have a lot of talent and potential, but if both stay on the roster moving forward, it’s tough to see how they help Steph/Klay/Draymond in the short term,” Friedell wrote. “Going to be really interesting to see how patient Warriors will be.”
The Warriors walked away from the trade table with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier Thursday, who were asking for both lottery picks, two future first-rounders, Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins in return for Simmons. It’s possible Golden State could revisit that offer now with two draft picks of high caliber, maybe even keeping one in the process while still acquiring Simmons and his All-NBA skill set.
It’s also possible the Warriors have been in talks with other teams and still have a trade up their sleeves. The value Golden State secured on draft night could arguably improve their trade position in some scenarios because they drafted so well.
But it goes without saying that if the Warriors can’t make a move to deliver on the promise made to their superstar trio, some more silent treatment for the organization could well be in store.