Coming off one of the impressive Arkansas basketball seasons ever, Moses Moody was selected at No. 14 overall by the Golden State Warriors in the 2021 NBA Draft. Following an Elite Eight run in the NCAA Tournament, Moody announced his decision to enter the NBA Draft on April 9th and was consistently projected to go in the lottery by most expert mock drafts.
He is the highest Razorback selected in the NBA Draft since Ronnie Brewer Jr. in 2006, who also went at pick No. 14.
As his freshman season progressed, Moses Moody’s draft stock rose greatly and it became obvious that he would move on to the NBA at season’s end. He led Arkansas in points per game with 16.8 while averaging 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He shot 42.7% from the field and 35.8% from three and knocked down an impressive 81% of his free throws.
The 16.8 points per game were good enough to rank him third in the SEC overall and fourth in the NCAA amongst freshmen. Moody’s impressive accomplishments don’t end there. He was named a second team All-American by Andy Katz, honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press and voted SEC Freshman of the Year by SEC coaches among other accolades.
Despite his stellar Arkansas basketball season, Moody struggled mightily in the NCAA Tournament. Most notably shooting 17.6% from the field and missing all seven three-point attempts across the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games.
Moses Moody’s performance on Arkansas basketball’s biggest stage since 1995 warranted criticism and left many wondering if it would cost him in the draft. SEC commentator Jimmy Dykes, for one, raised some questions about potential red flags in his game.
Initially, Moody’s draft position dipped but in the months after his announcement to enter the draft his stock rose considerably. He went from a fringe lottery pick to solidly inside the lottery according to most experts leading up to draft night.
The consensus among NBA draft experts is that Moody has the potential to be, at the very least, a serviceable 3-and-D role player in the league. He’s already proving to be such a player for the Golden State Warriors as they strive towards a 2022 NBA title, according to the latest NBA Championship odds. The Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony is high on Moody. In late May, he said, “Moody is an ideal 3-and-D prospect who happens to be one of the youngest players in the draft, having yet turned 19.”
ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas is also another fan of Moody’s game. “I’m a big believer in Moses Moody,” Bilas said to media on Tuesday before the draft. “He’s got the length and the athleticism and motor to be a really good defender. He can improve in every facet, but he’s already way ahead as an offensive player, I believe.”
Moses Moody with the Warriors
Most experts expected Moody to go in the top ten, but he fell in the late lottery and into one of the best situations any lottery pick could. With the Golden State Warriors, Moody will be playing alongside two of the best guards in the league in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
“I don’t even know what they’re going to teach me because they have so many little tricks and nuances to get an advantage on other players, but given how great they are, how great the team is — in that environment I have no choice but to get better,” Moody said in his introductory press conference below.
The Warriors are one of the best organizations in the NBA at developing young talent and are great at maximizing a player’s strengths while hiding their weaknesses. Playing alongside such great guards will mean that Moody will rarely be relied on to create for himself and will primarily be used in catch-and-shoot situations on offense, where he should excel.
On the defensive end, he won’t need to be the anchor on the perimeter right away but has all the tools to get to that level down the road.
NBA analysts are high on Moody because of how well he fits into the modern NBA. He is extremely mobile which provides versatility on the defensive end and has a 7-foot-1 wingspan to compliment his 6-foot-6 frame. He can suffocate his man in one-on-one situations while being able to make smart instinctive rotations and swoop in to force turnovers as a help defender.
Moody is also very underrated as a rebounder on both ends of the floor. His wingspan and athleticism allow him to hold his own on the glass against bigger players.
Put it all together and you have most analysts already praising this pick as an A+ for the Warriors. The general feeling is that Warriors got a Top 10 type of talent at that slot.
See the breakdown here:
Moody’s potential as an NBA player with the Warriors lies mostly in how well he improves a couple of areas on the offensive end. His jumpshot is very effective and he will excel in catch-and-shoot situations but creating shots for himself is where he will need the most work.
He improved as a primary ball handler during his Arkansas basketball career but struggled to go by bigger and longer defenders and finish at the rim consistently. However, he will have plenty of time to develop these weaker areas of his game while in the Warriors developmental system.
He enters the league with a similar offensive skillset to that of Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton when Middleton was drafted after his junior season at Texas A&M in 2012.
Other accurate NBA comparisons are Phoenix Suns guard Mikal Bridges, who is becoming a great young 3-and-D player and Portland Trail Blazers forward Robert Covington, who has used his defensive ability and decent shooting to become a respected role player in the league for ten seasons.
Hear Eric Musselman, a former head coach of Golden State, discuss Moody’s selection:
And here’s a detailed breakdown/scarily accurate prediction of how he’ll fit in with the Warriors: