San Francisco Chronicle
Moody earning more minutes with Wiggins out of rotation
HOUSTON — Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr came to a realization on Saturday while watching 8-seed Arkansas upset 1-seed Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament: If second-year guard Moses Moody had decided to stay with the Razorbacks instead of declaring for the NBA draft, he'd be a junior this season for Eric Musselman's Sweet 16-bound team. And what a team that would be on paper, pairing Moody with the likes of Ricky Council IV and Nick Smith Jr.
The Warriors selected Moody 14th overall in the 2021 NBA draft, and he doesn't turn 21 until May. So when outsiders get impatient with his lack of playing time or what might seem like his incremental development, Kerr continues to encourage them to keep things in perspective.
Moody's path has been different compared with a lot of players drafted in his range through the years. Adding him to Golden State's roster that's heavy on experience, especially in the backcourt, frequently keeps him
buried on the depth chart.
But this is the path Moody chose. He wanted to develop in the NBA instead of college, even if that meant grinding in silence for a while. And in Kerr's mind, Moody is right where he needs to be.
“He's a young guy,” Kerr said. “I think everybody wants this stuff to happen right away. And I've been saying this all year long, it just doesn't happen right away. It takes years to figure out how to impact winning.”
Moody averaged 4.5 points and 1.6 rebounds entering Monday's game while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 33.6 percent from 3-point range. However, he has played just 13.2 minutes per night across 55 games. He scored a season-high 17 points in Golden State's 143-113 loss to Brooklyn on Dec. 21. He had a career-high 30 points in just more than 36 minutes in a 131-124 loss to Denver as a rookie last season.
Because of Moody's lack of consistent minutes, he has played in five games with G League affiliate Santa Cruz, wit which he has averaged 24.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.
It's not surprising to note that when Moody plays more, he often performs better. The key for him is continuing to stay patient until he can receive those big minutes from Kerr at a more consistent rate.
Andrew Wiggins' extended absence has created more opportunities for Moody to get on the court, as he has played at least 10 minutes in his past four games entering Monday's game in Houston. And if Wiggins' family matter extends into the postseason, Moody will have to be among those ready to fill the gap, because the Warriors could be one injury away from thrusting him into a playoff rotation.
“He's doing great,” Kerr said of Moody. “An unbelievable human being, his resilience, his work ethic, his humility. And, yet, the ability to withstand all the adversity that's hit and just keep coming to work every day, I have no doubt he's going to have a really long, productive career. And each time I've put him in the game over the last week or two, he's bringing great energy, he's making an impact.”