Areas the Warriors' Youngsters Should Focus on in Vegas


With the official NBA2k23 Summer League in Vegas kicking off on July 7th, most players will be fighting and playing as hard as they can to prove to NBA executives that they belong. On the Warriors' Summer League roster, there will be quite a few players that fit into that category, such as Quinndary Weatherspoon, Justinian Jessup, and Mac McClung, but it is clear that the Warriors' main objective in the Summer League is to develop and nurture the future of the Warriors. The future of the Warriors include James Wiseman, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, and Patrick Baldwin Jr., all of whom were first round picks with guaranteed contracts, 21 or younger, playing in the Summer League (assuming all medical boxes are checked). This summer will be crucial for those youngsters as they will more than likely be asked to have a significant role for the 2023 NBA season and beyond. All the youngsters on the Warriors seem to have a great work ethic, so they will undoubtably work on their game this summer. Here are some things that the four players mentioned above should focus on during Summer League to help them reach their potentials and contribute to the Warriors. 

James Wiseman

Out of all the Warriors' young guys, James Wiseman is the one player that can truly and significantly change the complexion of the Warriors. He is an athletic and physical freak of nature, he provides immense upside as a lob-threat and rim-protector, his shot is smooth enough that he can hit some outside jumpers, and he has clearly added some muscle to his body when rehabbing his torn meniscus. The Warriors simply have not had that type of player on their roster since the start of their dynasty. The most glaring thing that James Wiseman needs to work on is his knee strength and stability. This is the year the Warriors need him the most, as they have lost a lot of their front-court depth in free agency, so they cannot afford to have Wiseman suffer another brutal injury. However, with the Warriors' superb medical staff, Wiseman's knee should be in great condition, and he himself has said that his knee feels great and has not swelling. Another thing he should focus on in Summer League is his defensive discipline. In Wiseman's rookie year, he kept falling for pump-fakes and got called for lots of fouls. He needs to understand that he is so long that he can simply challenge a shot just by reaching his arms up. For those that do not know, James Wiseman has a 9'6 standing reach. Wiseman is still young, so he does not necessarily have to work on his overall athleticism, but on the offensive end, he needs to work on having better touch around the rim and having better hands so that he does not drop entry passes often. The only way to improve on those things is by being in the gym, getting reps. 

Moses Moody

In the California Classic, which takes place a few days before the official NBA2k23 Summer League, coach Seth Cooper gave Moses Moody more of a lead-guard role. Versatility is highly valued in the Warriors' system, and it certainly does not hurt to have another capable lead-guard. Obviously, as a player who has played the wing position for most of his career, getting lead-guard duties will take some time getting used to, but that is what the Summer League is for. All the Warriors' staff work in unison, so the decision from coach Seth Cooper to give Moody a lead-guard role must have been agreed upon by Coach Kerr, the head coach of the Warriors, and his staff. If Moody will get some lead-guard duties in the 2022-23 NBA season, which it seems like he will, then he will have to focus on his basketball IQ and passing abilities. Thankfully, watching film should improve those areas. Moody should also improve his strength a little more by hitting the weight room more often so that he can be more physical and aggressive on defense. However, the most important thing Moody needs to work on is to further improve his shooting abilities by getting reps upon reps in the gym. After all, the main reason the Warriors drafted Moody in 2021 was for him to be an elite 3-D player, and so mastering the 3-point shot is imperative. 

Jonathan Kuminga

Out of all the youngsters on the Warriors' roster, Jonathan Kuminga probably has the most star potential, compared to the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard. However, he still has a long way to go before reaching that star potential, as he is very raw and probably has the least basketball experience out of everybody mentioned in this article. With all that in mind, the most important thing Jonathan Kuminga should work on is just getting the most live, in-game reps as he can while continuing to absorb as much information as possible from his coaches and peers. There is no better way to get familiar to the NBA game than to play in NBA-like settings. Simply playing in the games and giving an effort to learn is the most important thing for JK, as he is so gifted in almost all aspects of basketball that he just needs an outlet to let loose and effectively apply his gifts while learning the Warriors' system. Knowing how to usefully apply his talents on the NBA stage is necessary, as JK will probably be given a much larger and more consistent role for the 2022-23 season. JK already has an NBA-body, out-of-this-world athleticism, an incredible wingspan, superb finishing ability, and defensive versatility. The one thing in basketball that he truly needs to improve greatly in is shooting. However, JK has shown a willingness to improve his shooting, as seen from his 3-point percentage with the G-League Ignite Team (24.6%) compared to his 3-point percentage with the Warriors his rookie season (33.6%). Once JK gets a consistent jumper, coupled with more in-game, live reps, he will undoubtably be a force in this league. 

Patrick Baldwin Jr. 

After having a lackluster freshman year at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, the NBA2k23 Summer League will be Baldwin's first taste of NBA action (assuming his ankle gets cleared by the medical staff). Since this will be his first time on the NBA stage, he probably will not perform well, which is expected and fine. Lebron James, potentially the greatest player of all time, had a poor Summer League showing, and look at where he is now. The most important thing for Baldwin is simply learning the Warriors' system. As mentioned earlier, all aspects of the Golden State coaching staff work in unison, so the system and sets run by the Warriors team will also be run by the Santa Cruz Warriors team and the Warriors Summer League team. To be completely honest, the actual Warriors team will not be expecting him to consistently play in the regular season, so Baldwin will have plenty of chances to develop and grow his game during team practices without much pressure. In the NBA2k23 Summer League, Baldwin should just be looking to absorb as much information about the Warriors' system as possible, and he needs to make sure he does not put his ankle in harm's way. 

*note: Gui Santos and Ryan Rollins are not included in this article because they have not signed official NBA contracts yet, so they may not be on the 2022-23 roster. 

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