Warriors' Report Card for Most Impactful Offseason DecisionsAugust 26, 2021
Warriors' Report Card for Most Impactful Offseason Decisions
The possibilities seemed endless for the Golden State Warriors when they entered the 2021 NBA offseason.
They were loaded with trade assets and seemingly eager to use them to bring this roster up to championship speed around Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
The summer proved far less eventful than it could have, as the club abstained from any major trades, made a couple of lottery picks and gave minimum money to a few external free agents.
Did the Warriors correctly abstain from making the big move? We'll focus on what they actually got done by assigning letter grades to their three most impactful decisions.
Stephen Curry turned the 2020-21 campaign into a year for the ages.
He became the oldest scoring champion since Michael Jordan in 1998, averaged the most threes per game of all-time (5.3) and took third-place in voting for an MVP award which, had he won it, would've made him just the ninth player ever to win the honor at least three times.
It was only fitting, then, that his summer was historic, too. He inked a four-year, $215.4 million contract extension with the club that made him the first player ever to sign two contracts worth $200 million-plus.
The contract runs through 2025-26, which will be his age-37 season. Will he still be worth the colossal $59.6 million salary he'll collect that year? Who knows. But this was a no-brainer for the Warriors. He's the greatest player this franchise has ever had, and judging by the year he just engineered, his presence alone could keep them in the championship hunt for the foreseeable future.
Drafting Jonathan Kuminga
In a vacuum, spending the seventh overall pick on Jonathan Kuminga seems like an absolute steal.
He spent much of the past season regarded as a top-five player in the draft, and his ceiling arguably stretches as high as anyone's in the class. He is overloaded with physical tools, and if he can turn his flashes of advanced shot-creation into a consistent weapon, he has the chance to become elite at both ends.
But he's 18 years old and looks it with the raw nature of his skills. He is consistently inconsistent with everything from his shooting and defensive effort to his decision-making and shot selection.
Patience is a must with Kuminga, and that seems to be the one thing the Warriors can't afford to have as they look to make another title run with their 30-something trio. Unless he brings himself up to speed faster than anyone should realistically expect, it's worth debating whether he's a better trade chip than player for his current club.
Drafting Moses Moody
The Warriors wouldn't have raised many (if any) eyebrows had they drafted Moses Moody with the seventh overall pick. It's no small miracle, then, that they didn't trip over themselves rushing to get the pick in when he was somehow still up for grabs at pick No. 14.
He impresses more with his floor than his ceiling, which is exactly what the Warriors need. And considering he's still just 19 years old, it's not as if he completely lacks growth potential. Give him a (much) tighter handle, and he can get really interesting really quickly.
For now, though, he offers plug-and-play potential in the valuable three-and-D role. He should be rotation-ready on opening night with the ability to make open shots and defend multiple positions. If he can hit the ground running, that gives Golden State some leeway with Thompson, who's had the past two seasons erased by serious injuries (first a torn ACL, then a torn Achilles).
Moody works as either a player for this team or a trade chip for someone else. That flexibility is invaluable for this front office as it aims to return this group to title contention.