Warriors coach Steve Kerr has “no regrets” about the organization’s decision to force-feed lottery pick James Wiseman in the early stages of this season, he told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic in a wide-ranging interview.
After Klay Thompson suffered another season-ending injury prior to the draft, the Warriors brass decided that this season would be “about getting ready for next year in a lot of ways,” Kerr said. Getting Wiseman acclimated to the NBA game became a higher priority.
“No regrets at all. I think it made perfect sense to start him right away,” Kerr said of the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft. “And then I think we started him for the first 16, 17 games, and at that point, that’s when I decided to start (Kevon) Looney. And that decision felt right, too, because we’d given him a good month or so, month and a half, bigger sample size so we knew what we were dealing with.”
Wiseman’s season was cut short in early April by a knee injury. Stephen Curry‘s offensive efficiency numbers were much lower with Wiseman on the court but Kerr is confident they’ll coexist in the future. It’s likely Wiseman will come off the bench next season.
“The way I look at it, he’s 20 years old, unbelievably talented,” Kerr said. “I’ve said all these things many times, but it’s worth repeating. Twenty years old and talented and a great kid. Just be patient and he’s going to develop.”
There were several other notable statements made by Kerr during the interview. Here’s some of the highlights:
- Staff changes will be made. “A staff is no different from a roster where you get a little stale and you need some new blood, you need some new energy, you need to maybe move some things around, move some pieces around, change roles. There’s a lot that we’re discussing.”
- Roster changes will also be made and Kerr is seeking more veterans, regardless of positions. “You want size and shooting in the same package. You want (a player like) Andre Iguodala, you want somebody who can guard multiple positions and when you get into a playoff game you want somebody who can guard LeBron (James) or Kawhi (Leonard), those guys. But somebody who can also make plays offensively.”
- Despite some serious back issues in prior seasons, Kerr is feeling much better physically and still has a zest for coaching. “It’s really a lot of fun for me. I have no plans on stepping down any time soon.”