It has been a painful two years for James Wiseman and the Golden State Warriors. The No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has hardly gotten his feet wet and the team is practically begging for his help in the frontcourt right now. Nonetheless, another setback in his recovery has him on the sideline indefinitely.
So, where do we go from here?
James Wiseman’s tenure with the Golden State Warriors has been a massive disappointment — where do the two parties go from here?
There is no doubt the Dubs have been kicking themselves for not taking LaMelo Ball two years ago. The young guard has been an all-around superstar on offense, making the All-Star team and averaging 20.0 points and 7.3 assists.
Golden State whiffed on the opportunity to have a lanky, versatile playmaking threat next to the Splash Brothers for the next decade. But, they still have plenty of reason to hold onto hope for Wiseman.
This is what makes the situation so grueling. Anyone who has watched Wiseman in his brief time on the court sees what everyone else does. Seven-footers simply do not move the way Wiseman can move.
The potential for Wiseman to flourish in a rim-running role is evident. He has incredible agility for his size and he’s only a few steps away from being a massive deterrent in the paint with his shot-blocking capabilities.
However, the one thing that Wiseman needs the most — experience — is the one thing he has been unable to obtain since early 2020.
He was yanked out of college due to a scandal and robbed of a normal pre-draft routine due to the coronavirus pandemic. An injury cut his rookie season short and once again pried away a summer of development.
What can the Warriors hope for?
If there is a silver lining… here it is.
Thinking optimistically, let’s assume another three months of rehab is enough to get Wiseman back in shape and ready to compete in the summer league. This grants him a true opportunity to work on his craft before entering training camp and prepping for another NBA season.
At this point, Wiseman would still be 20 years old with the entire world in front of him. Allotting proper time for him to ramp up and find his niche, Wiseman could be a prototypical rim runner by this time next year.
We can expect to hear Wiseman’s name tossed in trade rumors all summer but the truth is, the Warriors have more than enough incentives to hold onto their most recent top-three pick for at least one more year as it could make all the difference.