Prior to the NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors have kept their cards close in hand and eventually oped for center James Wiseman.
Would Wiseman give the Warriors the best starting five in the NBA?
Although Wiseman doesn’t have much polish to his game yet, he will provide them with better value right away than both Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball. This will give the Warriors a young, rim-running big, who can erase shots on the other end.
In just three games at Memphis, Wiseman averaged over 19 points per game, 10.7 rebounds and 3 blocks but played only three games after getting suspended by the NCAA and later dropping out, preparing for the draft.
Had the center played most of the season with Memphis, he likely would have answered all lingering questioned, and registered himself as the No.1 prospect. Wiseman also has higher upside than both Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney, the opportunity for the Warriors is a huge one.
Pairing Wiseman with the Splash Brothers, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green would give the Warriors an All-Star caliber player at every starting position and would put them in firm contention for a return to the NBA finals.
The Warriors find Wiseman’s skill set to be attractive. It also may turn out that Wiseman’s lack of collegiate experience works in their favor as he dropped to the second-overall spot
Wiseman has the makeup to be a game-changer in the post. Although he will need time to develop, his development won’t be rushed with a championship-ready roster in the Bay Area.
The 20-year-old at worst is everything that JaVale McGee was to the 2017 and 2018 championship, earning minutes as a rim runner, rebounder and shot-blocker. Quite simply the Warriors could spend this season using Wiseman in a simplified role, while he expands his skillset.
Wiseman isn’t entirely pro-ready and has some concerns, namely defense and his passing. Yes, he isn’t the passer Andrew Bogut was with the Warriors nor is he great at reading defenses, yet. However, within time and with one of the best franchises in the NBA he’ll learn that.
The former Memphis man will give Steve Kerr the big man he is lacking. Throughout last season the Dubs used Chriss and Looney in that role, but neither are natural rim protectors, while Draymond Green will spend the majority of time at power forward.
Wiseman’s length and penchant for defense will be useful when it comes to guarding bigger opponents. The Western Conference alone has a number of impactful seven-foot bigs.
There’s Deandre Ayton, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns. The Warriors must find a big that can guard Anthony Davis, who is virtually guaranteed to re-sign with the Lakers.
Quite simply Golden State presents Wiseman with the best opportunity to thrive in the NBA.