The Golden State Warriors entered this season with one goal; to bridge the gap between the dynastic trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson with the development of their young guns in James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and Mosses Moody — 3 of the 4 players they drafted over the past 3 years.
But as the halfway of the season approached, the Dubs realized that plan didn’t pan out. It’s largely because Wiseman, who the Warriors picked 2nd overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, hasn’t morphed into the big man he was expected to be. Wiseman is having a down year and has only played 19 games this season.
According to an NBA executive, the Warriors have accepted the fact that Wiseman’s development isn’t aligned with their current timeline.
“The Warriors, a league source said, have indicated in conversations with other teams that the development of third-year center James Wiseman is not aligning with their hopes of squeezing another championship from the core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green,” he wrote as reported by Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher.
What happened to Wiseman?
In 2020, the Warriors (who have had success by playing small ball throughout their championship years) decided to risk it all by drafting a young prospect in Wiseman over the likes of LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton, Tyrese Maxey and even Killian Hayes. Although he was raw and inexperienced, Golden State believed that he had what it took to take a leap and adjust right away under their organization’s development program — who in fairness has a great reputation of developing players like Curry, Thompson, Green and even Jordan Poole.
However, the prospect out of University of Memphis is yet to meet the Warriors' expectations.
Wiseman sat out last season due to a knee injury but he also hasn’t proven his worth this year as he’s only averaged 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds a game in those 19 games he suited up. Even when healthy, Wiseman has spent more time on the bench cheering and clapping for his teammates with several DNPs after another.
The Warriors’ dilemma with Wiseman
Now, the question for the Warriors is whether or not they’re going to make a huge splash as the trade deadline approaches. Due to the team’s mediocre regular season performance (23-24) thus far, Golden State’s front office has the responsibility of improving their current roster especially if they hope to go back-to-back.
This all boils down to what the Warriors want to do with Wiseman and according to Bucher, they're currently stuck in the middle of a dilemma.
“The Warriors’ willingness to move Wiseman appears to be two-fold, an Eastern Conference GM said — he isn’t ready to help them win a title, and they feel they’re doing him a disservice because he needs playing time to develop,” Bucher explained.
Only time will tell whether or not the defending champions moved on from their 2020 Draft pick but right now they’re reportedly stuck between giving him patience to develop but at the same time wanting to enhance the team’s chances of winning another championship — as they ride out the last few years of their dynastic trio.
It’s a tough situation to be in for the Warriors as they’re constantly reminded that their team needs to make moves ASAP.