The Warriors will not be especially good this season; there’s no other way to put it. Still, there is someone to be excited about if you’re rooting for Golden State, and his name is James Wiseman. Warriors selected Wiseman with the second pick in this year’s draft, and he’s already getting praise from Steve Kerr.
“What I am surprised about, is that with so little practice time, two games in, that he’s as confident as he is out there. I thought he’d be a little deer in the headlights out there, but he is fearless. So it’s not fear, it’s more he’s got a thirst to learn the stuff he needs to learn, so he’s going out there and scoring 18, 20 points whatever it is and then coming to the bench like ‘Well, what did I do wrong and what do I need to do to get better?‘ The focal point of the future in terms of how we’re building this team is with Steph and Klay and Draymond. I can now throw James in there.”Steve Kerr, Twitter
Wiseman’s report card says that he is an elite athlete with a high ceiling even though he didn’t play much college basketball. Wiseman was ready to show his potential at the NCAA level, but his season was abruptly ended after only three games. Eligibility issues derived from a relationship with Memphis coach and former NBA star Penny Hardaway resulted in a 12-game suspension.
After that, Wiseman decided he wasn’t going to come back to the NCAA. Despite playing only a week of basketball, the NBA was impressed by his potential. He is a modern-day center with decent handles, his pull-up jumper is good, and he knows how to finish around the basket. Wiseman’s athleticism and length mean no one is safe when he’s guarding them.
On the other hand, he has flaws in his game. Wiseman is reliable at blocking shots; however, his lateral movements are a bit slow, and he has problems switching out to guards. Draymond Green could teach Wiseman a thing or two about playing defense, and Green already expressed his optimism about the rookie.
“The fun part is he don’t have a f—–g clue about what he’s actually doing. He don’t even know the basics. That is exciting because he’s gonna learn those basics. But to see what he’s able to do not having a clue is very exciting.”Draymond Green, Twitter
Wiseman may not be an MVP level player, but GSW fans could see him become a prominent team figure in the future. The rookie will surely see a lot of playing time, considering the Warriors will not have championship pressure this season.