Warriors Steve Kerr Breaks Silence on Moses Moody’s Demotion

Getty Moses Moody of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball against the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center on October 21, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors bet big on their young corps of players this season, but the returns have yet to come in.

The Dubs parted ways with Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II after each man played a pivotal role in helping the team to its fourth NBA Championship in eight years. The decisions were salary-cap based, as Porter garnered $12 million over two years from the Toronto Raptors and Payton pulled a three-year deal worth $26 million from the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Warriors, already sporting the largest roster bill (salary/luxury tax combined) in league history for the second consecutive year, couldn’t offer anywhere near those amounts. Instead, Golden State banked on the likes of second-year players Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga, as well as a returning James Wiseman, to leap forward and fill the gaps left behind. So far, the veteran shoes have proven too roomy for the youngsters to fill.

Moody, for instance, has been benched the previous two games via a coach’s decision after playing just nine minutes against the Sacramento Kings on November 7. Head coach Steve Kerr on Sunday spoke to Moody’s absence from the lineup in consecutive contests after the shooting guard had been averaging nearly 17 minutes of floor time per night.

“I’m really confident in Moses, and he’ll find his way back into the rotation,” Kerr said. “I’ve talked to him about turnovers and fouls, that’s the big thing. When you’re a young player trying to find a role, it’s really important to just be solid.”

Moody is averaging 1.4 turnovers and 1.2 personal fouls per game, according to Basketball Reference. He is also producing 6.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks across 11 regular season appearances.

Moody Likely to Return to Rotation Monday Night Against Spurs

Moses Moody, Warriors

GettyMoses Moody of the Golden State Warriors defends Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns during the second half of a game at Footprint Center on October 25, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Moody’s value is specifically tied to the Dubs’ success in the vaunted second games of back-to-backs, which are often considered to be scheduled losses.

Moody matters even more in such contests because of the collective age of Golden State’s roster. Coming off of two and a half years out due to injury, the 32-year-old Klay Thompson is going to rest most, if not all, second games of back-to-backs to keep him as healthy and fresh as possible. Thompson has sat out two contests this year, both coming in such matchups.

Golden State (5-8) will play the second game of its third back-to-back set of the season on Monday night against the San Antonio Spurs. Thus far, the Dubs are 0-2 in those contests.

Moody is likely to see some significant run alongside Jordan Poole as the two fill in most, if not all, of the minutes at shooting guard at Chase Center against the Spurs.

Warriors Playing Kuminga Even Less Than Moody to Start Season

Jonathan Kuminga Warriors-Wizards

GettyJonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors looks on during a preseason game against the Washington Wizards.

Perhaps an even bigger surprise than Moody’s recently limited role and lack of production is the scenario playing out for Kuminga.

The former No. 7 overall pick in 2021 has appeared in just 10 of 13 games for Golden State this season, averaging 13.1 minutes per night. That’s down nearly four minutes per game since his rookie season, while Moody’s floor time is up more than five minutes year-over-year. Kuminga has averaged just 4.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.6 assists per contest — vast declines from his production as a rookie, per Basketball Reference.

The explosive wing was recently seen as the heir apparent to the Dubs’ dynasty. Now, however, NBA analysts like Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report question whether he is part of Golden State’s future plans at all.

“There were moments last season when it seemed Jonathan Kuminga had jumped to the top of Golden State’s youth movement,” Buckley wrote. “Even offseason trade-machine maestros didn’t bother including Kuminga in their imagined deals, because he already felt off-limits.”

“Fast-forward to the start of this season, though, and it’s suddenly unclear how prominently he factors into the franchise’s plans,” Buckley continued.

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