Skip to main content

Steve Kerr believes James Wiseman can be as good as DeAndre Ayton


It was a foregone conclusion that Anthony Edwards would be selected first overall in the 2020 NBA Rookie Draft on draft night. What was far from certain, however, was who would come next. On one hand, there was social media superstar LaMelo Ball, fresh from a professional stint in Australia with the NBL. On the other, an incredibly gifted big man in Memphis Tiger, James Wiseman. As fate would have it, Golden State selected Wiseman second, and LaMelo became the Rookie of the Year after being selected third by the Charlotte Hornets.

The rationale for not drafting Ball is simple, having him alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson could spell trouble for the rest of the league on offense but could also be easily exploitable on defense. Regardless of how good of a defender Draymond Green is, he cannot cover the deficiencies a lineup of Curry and Ball would present. So Golden State selected Wiseman, a player with so much upside but many questions surrounding his ability to adapt to the NBA. Many believe that this choice was more about not selecting another backcourt player than actually thinking Wiseman was the best player available. Apparently, this is not the case, as coach Steve Kerr recently expressed his vision for Wiseman after tuning into the NBA finals.

"To me, the most interesting thing has been watching DeAndre Ayton. I talked to James and texted him, and I'm just so inspired by what Ayton has been able to do, and I think there's no reason why James can't follow that same path."

Steve Kerr on DRK957

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

For Kerr to say this publicly is a great show of confidence in the young big man, but does he really believe it? Wiseman has the size and athleticism to become as good or maybe even better than DeAndre Ayton, given that James has the ability to stretch the floor and handle the basketball. Still, he is not as much of a force on the glass and spent much of the season coming off the bench behind Kevin Looney, a decision that Kerr made himself.

Wiseman also features in almost every trade scenario the Warriors are a part of; rumor or not, it is well-known that Golden State will not hesitate to trade James if the opportunity to upgrade their roster presents itself. The number two pick was also mentioned as a potential trade chip even before draft night, and it seems as if Wiseman's play in his rookie year has not managed to stop the rumors from piling on. Considering how quickly DeAndre Ayton has improved and his impact on the NBA finals, why would Kerr and the Warriors want to part ways with such a promising young player?

With Klay Thompson set to make his return next season and Kelly Oubre Jr.'s impending free agency opening up some cap space, the Warriors have the opportunity to build a championship roster once again. Things get even more interesting as many stars are perceived to be on the trading block, with names like Ben Simmons and Damian Lillard being some of the biggest names supposedly available. The Warriors have discreetly made their interests known, and for any of these deals to go through, Golden State will have to include Wiseman to drum up the perceived value of the offer with a former number two pick.

The question now becomes, why hasn't a deal even come close to happening? Is it because the Warriors are cold on the offers out there, or do teams not want to take the gamble on Wiseman? Perhaps it is the latter, and Steve Kerr is now working his magic to drum up interest in Wiseman to get his team back to championship contention.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news and reactions?Download our NBA news feed for breaking news, live stats, and game coverage.

Why Arvydas Sabonis never reached his full potential in the NBA

'Arvydas could qualify for a handicapped parking spot' - Why Arvydas Sabonis never reached his full potential in the NBA

A complicated situation, series of injuries and a newly-found love in a foreign country were all factors why the NBA never saw the best version of Arvydas Sabonis

Here's why Emoni Bates will never be Kevin Durant

NBA prospect hyped as the 'Next Kevin Durant' has one major difference from the real KD

Emoni Bates has been drawing comparisons to Kevin Durant. However, their views on social media are nothing alike

Gregg Popovich wanted Kawhi Leonard to be like the Spurs' defensive stopper Bruce Bowen

Gregg Popovich once told Kawhi Leonard that he needed to surpass a certain undrafted Spurs legend

This may be the reason why Kawhi Leonard turned into one of the most lethal defenders of all time.

Russell Westbrook responds to Skip Bayless calling him ‘Westbrick’ on Twitter

Don’t say anything here you wouldn’t say to my face” - Russell Westbrook responds to Skip Bayless calling him ‘Westbrick’ on Twitter

Bayless said that the Lakers selection of Max Christie, who struggled shooting the three in college, would fit in great with ‘Westbrick’, which drew a quick response from Westbrook.

The origin of Michael Jordan's Jumpman logo

Michael Jordan’s Jumpman logo inspiration was revealed and it’s not what you think

Michael Jordan used his own brand to build a business empire. The iconic Jumpman logo will be forever associated to him. However, it was actually inspired from a ballet move and not MJ going for a dunk.

How Kobe Bryant's endorsements helped him bring in money off the court

How Kobe Bryant's endorsements helped him bring in money off the court

Bryant quickly inked a sneaker deal with Adidas that helped open up many different doors for him in the future.

Ray Allen “hearbroken” on overturned abortion verdict

Ray Allen is “hearbroken” after the overturned abortion verdict: "Guns are more protected than a woman’s rights are"

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, removing women's right to abortion which prompted Ray Allen to compare the ruling to rectifying gun laws.

Morris Peterson on getting ejected after slapping Vince Carter: 'We always joke around'

Morris Peterson on getting ejected after slapping Vince Carter: 'We always joke around'

In 2006, Morris Peterson and Vince Carter playfully slapped one another during a game that resulted in Mo Pete being ejected