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!
Warriors SL coach Kris Weems on Kuminga's debut: "I was impressed with his energy getting to the basket. You see the finishing ability. And I think he’s an underrated passer. He didn’t do as much as I’d like him to do, but he has a chance to be a really good player."— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) August 5, 2021
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.
New video discussing Golden State's offseason and how *not* landing a fourth star on draft night could be for the best long-term. Especially if the impressive performance last night by Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody is a sign of things to come for the Warriors:— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) August 5, 2021
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?
Jason Dumas on Ben Simmons: "He's open to the California teams is what I've been told. Joel Embiid has reached out to him several times since the end of the season. He hasn't returned Joel Embiid's calls ... he doesn't want to return to the 76ers. Damage has been done." https://t.co/CJhQ1YACFA— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) August 5, 2021
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.
If Ben is in Draymond’s spot on that last play against MEM, he dunks on Tillman and the game is over…OR he tries to pass it bc he doesn’t want to get fouled…OR they just foul him anyway and he misses both free throws.— Justin (RIPKOBE) (@ThePackageJG) August 5, 2021
Him with the ball late in games would terrify me. Lol
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:
I think the Warriors were wise to turn down Wiseman + Wiggins + 7 + 14 + 2 firsts for Ben Simmons, but I don't think it's the ridiculous price tag that everyone else seems to.— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) July 29, 2021
Simmons is really, really, good, and under contract for 4 years which helps GSW extend max slot
So what say you? Keep the picks and develop ‘em, or keep hunting a deal for Simmons?