James Wiseman is better suited to develop with Warriors second unit

Everyone knew that Golden State Warriors’ former first-round pick Kevon Looney had the starting center role locked up, but now we can put any guessing aside as it is confirmed that he’s earned the role.

The Athletic’s Anthony Slater (subscription required) made that assumption a reality as head coach Steve Kerr told him that Loon will be the starter. Looney is more than deserving of that role, and it’s a positive for both the veteran center and young, up-and-coming prospect.

The Golden State Warriors view James Wiseman as a long-term staple of their roster, and if he’s to develop independently, without the Big 3 is more ideal.

Wiseman could be a star, and while his rookie season left quite a bit to be desired from the 21-year-old former No. 2 overall pick, the summer league was a good indicator of what he may bring. He was versatile and involved offensively. Wiseman even hit two threes.

While not a strength of his game, with the starting unit, a Wiseman three would be a bad shot. He should have more rein to make mistakes with players like Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga, not Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.

Wiseman also averaged 3.1 fouls per game and 5.2 fouls per 36 minutes as a rookie, and his summer league indicated that fouling could still be an issue. The fewer minutes he’d get as a bench player should also translate into foul trouble not consistently being an issue.

Looney arguably had the best season of his career last year, but he still had just a 12.2 usage rate, the second lowest of his career. How can that be? Well, quite frankly, the offense isn’t made for him.

It’s made for the two-time MVP and five-time All-Star. He knows that and plays perfectly into the system. Wiseman, rightfully so, would likely command an expanded role in the offensive, one the Big 3 may not be ready to give him.

Ultimately, Wiseman sticking with the second unit might have been the wise move for Kerr and the team’s chemistry, but it’s also the better long-term move for both players.