The Warriors are the Warriors again, but did it happen too quickly?

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

Can the Golden State Warriors successfully develop their recent lottery picks while aiming for a fourth championship in the past decade?

Because they landed on a Warriors team with stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman and 2021 lottery picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody haven’t played as much as their peers who joined rebuilding teams.

Although Wiseman started 27 of the 39 games he played as a rookie, he didn’t have the same freedom as fellow top-three picks LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards. Kuminga and Moody are two of four lottery picks this season to not yet have played 100 NBA minutes.

To answer this question, I looked at the broader one of how important early playing time is for the development of young prospects. This week’s mailbag also answers questions about a possible rule change to prevent fouling while up three points at the end of games and the Los Angeles Lakers bringing back several players for their second stints with the team.

Throughout the NBA season, I answer your questions about the latest, most interesting topics in basketball. You can tweet me directly at @kpelton, tweet your questions using the hashtag #peltonmailbag or email them to [email protected]

“Given the Warriors’ strong start, it seems unlikely that their two lottery rookies (Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody) and even their first pick last year (James Wiseman) will be able to get significant minutes this year. Given your projections, do you see these players being good if they are given a proper opportunity or do you see this more as a Darko Milicic situation where the players still won’t succeed even with an excellent infrastructure around them?”

— BH

One of the great unproven assumptions in NBA analysis is that young players need minutes to develop.

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