Golden State Warriors starting small forward: Andrew Wiggins
Andrew Wiggins made his first All-Star team in 2021. He was limited to only 37 appearances last season due to personal issues off the court, but he was effective when available. The Warriors quickly assimilated him back into the starting five once the playoffs arrived and he should continue to operate with the main unit next season.
It took a while for the former No. 1 pick to find his footing in the NBA, but Golden State has proven to be the perfect home for Wiggins. Rather than being asked to carry a primary scoring burden, Wiggins is able to focus on shooting 3s and attacking closeouts while committing the majority of his effort to the defensive end. Wiggins has emerged as one of the league’s best wing defenders, a shocking development when one considers how poorly he held up on that end in Minnesota.
With Thompson starting to slip on the defensive end, Wiggins’ versatility on the ball is even more important. He can guard 1-4 and handle the Warriors’ top-priority matchups on any given night. Draymond Green is the Warriors’ defensive quarterback, but Wiggins is the sledgehammer used to batter the league’s top scorers at the point of attack.
Primary backup small forward: Moses Moody
The Warriors’ two-timelines approach has been largely disappointing, but Moses Moody was a productive 3-and-D wing hitting 59.1 percent of his long-range attempts in the playoffs last season. He was 20 years old at the time.
The Arkansas product has a very clear path to minutes in his third NBA season. One could credibly argue that he’s the best prospect on the roster, or at least the young player who fits the best. He can defend a couple of positions, his shot is butter, and his athleticism really pops on backdoor cuts or straight-line drives to the rim.