Whether they truly believed James Wiseman was better than him or not, LaMelo Ball has been clowning the Warriors for opting to go for fit over ceiling. Ball hasn’t necessarily said anything to that extent but his play has done the talking.
While Wiseman is still young, having missed this entire with an injury that featured multiple setbacks steaming from his rookie season, the Warriors’ 7-foot center might be running out of time.
Next season, it is going to be time for 20-year-old center James Wiseman to go big or go home for the Golden State Warriors.
Wiseman is under a team option, assuming the Warriors exercise it, for the next two seasons. It’s not that everyone no longer thinks the potential is there, but it’s certainly getting tougher and tougher to see him becoming a cornerstone piece of this franchise.
Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga and Jordan Poole, along with keeping intact the Big 3, may take priority when it comes to either winning now or dealing the star center. Also, the win-now factor is going to be important, especially as Wiseman should still have some trade value.
Wiseman had too many flaws in Year 1, and none of those were notable fixed during his second season as he didn’t make it on the court for the Dubs, practicing and playing a few games with the teams’ G-League affiliate.
Wiseman shot just 52% from the field and had major trouble defensively, not protecting the rim without fouling. Wiseman doesn’t appear to have the Joel Embiid-upside that many were hoping for when he was taken with the second-overall selection.
With that in mind, Wiseman is going to be the fifth highest-paid player for the Warriors next season, and he’s going to need to produce at a moderately high level or potentially find himself actually on the trading block.
Nothing has really changed about the potential for Wiseman, just injuries have forced him to miss time, time in which many expected him to be an influential piece on a Warriors team looking for another berth in the NBA Finals.
He hasn’t done that, and if he can’t next season, it may start to cause trouble for the young center.