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Kuminga, Moody’s strong showing shifts Ben Simmons trade conversation

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Now that Dub Nation has seen the potential of these two rookies first hand, how big is the desire to trade for a “win now” star like Simmons?

Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

As Sherlock Holmes would say: the game is afoot.

The Golden State Warriors unleashed their two lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody upon the world last night, and even the most skeptical of Dub Nation members had to admit their raw skillsets were quite intriguing.

Legendary hoops scribe Monte Poole had this quick reflection on these two youngsters:

It was one game, their first at the NBA level, a glorified scrimmage against a roster of players much less heralded than they are.

But if first impressions matter, and they sometimes do, the Warriors’ lottery-pick gifts, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, will have long careers in the league.

The teenagers will need years of refining and growth, multiple cycles to be sure, but the raw tools on display Wednesday night in a 94-87 loss to the Miami Heat in their Summer League debut at Golden 1 Center project to the possibility of producing as rookies.

To the tape!

My my my, what do we have here? The athleticism, aggression, and competitive verve were everything we could have asked for in a first showing for these two fellas. It’s funny because before the draft the arguments crystallized into “TRADE ANDREW WIGGINS, JAMES WISEMAN, AND THE PICKS FOR AN ESTABLISHED STAR” vs “DON’T SELL THE FUTURE IN A DESPERATE BID FOR THE PRESENT”.

Here at GSOM, “Keep the picks” got 38% of the vote while “Trade both” got 30%. That gives us a clue as to just how divided the fan base was before the draft. But now? That summer league show has the imagination of NBA pundits spinning into overdrive about Golden State’s patient strategy possibly paying huge dividends.

Excellent. And now to relax and wait for summer league to continue in Las Vegas where the Warriors’ youth movement can continue to gel and— WAIT, THIS JUST IN! Ben Simmons is reportedly not talking to the Philadelphia 76ers and is “open” to joining the Dubs?

The grass ain’t always greener...but sometimes it is?

Okay the last time Simmons name came up in trade rumors with the Warriors, Dub Nation was interested but also collectively vomited at Philly’s ridiculous asking price. Here’s my buddy Brady Klopfer’s thoughts on that from a few weeks ago:

According to a report from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Sixers offered Simmons to the Warriors in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, the Nos. 7 and 14 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft, and two future first-round picks.

The Warriors reportedly said no “quickly.” No surprises there.

Simmons would be a big get, despite the negative narratives surrounding him after the playoffs. He just turned 25 earlier this month, is under contract for four more years, is already a three-time All-Star, a two-time All-Defense selection, a one-time All-NBA selection, and this year’s Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, and led Philly to the top record in the East this season, postseason disappointment be damned.

Yeah, Simmons is an amazing talent. But sending Wiggins, Wiseman, Kuminga, and Moody AND two future firsts for a guy who suddenly became a non-factor on offense in a do-or-die playoff game against an underdog Atlanta Hawks team? That’s not motivating me as a couch GM to give up all those assets.

But hey, I don’t speak for everyone. I can’t blame anyone for being drawn to the allure of an available, young, freakishly athletic All-Star:

So what say you? Keep the picks and develop ‘em, or keep hunting a deal for Simmons?