Warriors finally get first look of Kuminga, Moody, Wiseman trio in Summer League loss

LAS VEGAS — The Warriors started four NBA champions in Tuesday’s Summer League tilt against the Celtics.

Let that sink in.

Never mind the outcome of the game. (The Warriors fell to the Celtics 103-92, dropping to a 1-5 summer record, by the way.) But Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman took the floor together for the very first time, an important step in the development of the future core.

That trio was also joined in the starting lineup by Quinndary Weatherspoon, a two-way player last season eying a shot at an NBA roster spot, and Mac McClung, a new addition to the Warriors’ summer squad who’s looking to prove he’s NBA ready after earning last season’s G League Rookie of the Year award.

Weatherspoon and McClung had their moments. But all eyes were on the Warriors’ next “Big Three” of Kuminga, Moody and Wiseman, whom assistant coach Jama Mahlalela predicted could be Golden State’s “new version” of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Tuesday’s game wasn’t pretty by any means. Kuminga, Moody and Wiseman missed eight of their collective 10 first shots.

But Mahlalela, who’s coaching the Warriors’ Summer League team, anticipated there would be some growing pains with this core group learning to gel with one another. And Summer League is the perfect time for guys to experiment with their roles and form that chemistry.

Still, there were plenty of signs of their potential.

Kuminga led the Warriors’ scoring for the second consecutive game. After a slow start, he got into groove as the game went on. The former No. 7 overall pick heated up in the fourth quarter, making 11 of his 29 points in the final frame. He had one sequence where he made three consecutive baskets for the Warriors, including one from downtown.

Wiseman had another up-and-down performance in his second game back after a 15-month rehabilitation journey from a right knee injury. Wiseman finished with six points and snatched seven of the Warriors’ 37 rebounds.

After missing Sunday’s game due to dehydration, Moody was back in the starting lineup and delivered another solid performance, posting 21 points, four assists and three rebounds. He was slow to get up late in the fourth quarter after a hard fall but returned to the huddle without assistance and stayed in the game for the last 50 seconds.

While seeing Kuminga, Wiseman and Moody in joint action was exciting for the Warriors and their fanbase, this trio is only part of the bigger picture. Jordan Poole had his breakout season last year and is enjoying some well-deserved time away. Meanwhile, 2022 first-round pick Patrick Baldwin Jr. (ankle) and second-rounder Ryan Rollins (foot) are sitting out Summer League action to nurse their injuries.

The Warriors will continue to practice patience with their young players, but they should feel comfortable with their growing pool of young talent who could help sustain Golden State’s dominance for years to come.

Contributed by local news sources

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