Warriors Rumors: Golden State title surprise, Harden trade casualty, Moses Moody

  • Warriors exercise fourth-year option on Moses Moody
  • Warriors could sign casualty of James Harden trade
  • Steve Kerr "surprised" by Warriors' 2022 title run

Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors
Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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Warriors Rumors: Golden State exercises Moses Moody's fourth-year option

Moses Moody has been a treat to watch during the first week of the new NBA season. He's still relegated to a relatively minor bench role — 18.6 minutes per game — but the production has been rock solid. He's averaging 8.0 points and 3.0 rebounds on .500/.368/.714 splits, occupying the 3-and-D bench role the Golden State Warriors require, but flashing upside beyond it.

The No. 14 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Moody was one of the youngest players in his rookie class. Now 21 years old, he still has ample time to develop from a quality role player into an everyday starter. Any such development, from the looks of it, will take place in Golden State.

The Warriors, as expected, exercised Moody's fourth-year rookie contract option on Tuesday.

Moody will play next season in the final year of his rookie contract. He is eligible for an extension next October, or the Warriors could risk allowing Moody to enter restricted free agency in 2025. That would still permit the Warriors to match any offer sheet from another team. With the rising cap and the league's emphasis on two-way versatility, one should expect Moody to command a healthy raise on his next deal.

For the Warriors, it's all about the present. Moody can help win games right now, even at his young age. The 'two-timelines' approach centered on Jordan Poole and James Wiseman never panned out, but it would appear the 2021 draft class — and the two lottery picks of Moody and Jonathan Kuminga — was a legitimate success for Golden State, and a potential bridge to the future.

Warriors Rumors: GSW could target Danny Green after James Harden trade

The Philadelphia 76ers finally moved on from James Harden on Tuesday, ending months of uncomfortable speculation as Daryl Morey broke up with his former best friend. The deal involved several moving parts, with P.J. Tucker joining Harden in Los Angeles while Robert Covington, KJ Martin, Marcus Morris Sr., and Nic Batum all went back to Philadelphia. Even the Sacramento Kings got into the mix to acquire former Sixers second-round pick Filip Petrusev.

Lost in the hoopla was the roster move the Sixers made to facilitate the trade. Danny Green was waived to clear room, allowing him to essentially hand-pick his next destination, so long as the team wants him. It's only natural to consider the possibility of Golden State.

"If the Warriors don’t have any pressing needs," writes Josh Cornelissen of Blue Man Hoop, "then they should double down on the qualities in a player that are always valuable to a contending team: shooting, experience and defense. Sounds like an order for Danny Green."

All solid points. Green was on the outskirts of the Sixers' rotation before the trade, competing for minutes with a group of backup wings that included Jaden Springer and Danuel House. He's 36 years old and one year removed from a major knee injury — that cannot be ignored — but he is an ultra-accomplished role player who has been around every manner of contender. That could make him a useful locker room vet for Golden State, if not much else.

By that same token, it's fair to question how much Golden State really needs a locker room vet. Curry, Draymond, Klay, Loon — all those guys have won championships. That's an old locker room with more than enough championship experience to go around. There's no "need" for Green on the leadership front. It comes down to whether or not Golden State thinks he is valuable enough on the court to warrant the 15th roster spot.

At worst, Green is a smart off-ball mover and quality spot-up shooter who understands intuitively how to play within a team context on defense. Maybe he's worth a look.

Warriors Rumors: Steve Kerr admits "surprise" nature of 2022 championship run

The Golden State Warriors' 2022 championship run came on the heels of two straight seasons that ended short of the playoffs. The Warriors were beat up — plagued by injuries, chemistry concerns and a sort of existential dread. Was it all over?

Well, no. Obviously not. The Warriors bounced back in 2021-22, winning 53 games and finishing third place in the West. Golden State survived Ja Morant, Luka Doncic, and ultimately Jayson Tatum in the postseason to win the championship. It was the fourth ring for Steph, Klay, and Draymond. It was also the fourth ring for Steve Kerr (as a head coach) and team president Bob Myers, the orchestrator behind the Golden State dynasty.

In a recent interview with Monte Poole of NBC Sports, Kerr and Myers were both asked if the 2022 title run came as a "surprise" given the circumstances that preceded it.

For Myers, it was a difficult question.

"Well, I’d say we didn’t know what we had. The previous two years were tough on us."

Kerr was much more direct, cutting through the typical PR sensibility of a coach to deliver an honest assessment of the Warriors' standing before the 2021-22 season.

"It’s fair to say it was a surprise."

It's extremely difficult to win four championships with the same core. Obviously, Golden State only won two without Kevin Durant, but those two were spread seven years apart. To dominate over such a long period of time — or to at least have the capacity to dominate — is damn near impossible. It's a credit to the talent of Golden State's stars, the coaching staff, and the front office. That's why Curry is a first-ballot, all-time great Hall of Fame player. It's why Draymond and Thompson won't be far behind at the induction ceremony. Neither will Kerr, nor Myers. Everybody responsible has earned their monument in history.

Now, the Warriors are still going. The 2024 title race in the West has its favorites — Denver, Phoenix, the new-look Clippers — but Golden State looks mighty compelling with the sixth-man addition of Chris Paul. Maybe the Warriors have enough left in the tank for another surprise run.

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