Pacific Notes: Wiseman, Leonard, George, Paul, Shamet, Christie

Warriors center James Wiseman is being professional about his G League assignment and is trying to use it to improve his game, writes Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Wiseman, who missed all of last season with a knee injury and was seeing limited playing time this year, was sent to Golden State’s affiliate in Santa Cruz last week for “an extended period.”

“His attitude has been unbelievable from the regard of asking me if there’s things he can do better, asking about the defense, being willing to accept playing here,” Santa Cruz coach Seth Cooper said after Wiseman posted 19 points and 11 rebounds in his first G League game on Saturday. “There are a lot of guys not just picked where he was, but picked anywhere in the draft, who would want to come here and just have the ball all the time. … That’s not him.”

Wiseman, the No. 2 selection in the 2020 draft, is at a critical point in his career, Letourneau states. The Warriors picked up his $12.1MM option for the 2023/24 season, but they’ll have to do something to reduce costs next summer to keep their payroll from rising above $500MM. If the front office decides to hold onto Draymond Green, trading Wiseman is an obvious way to save money.

“There’s urgency,” admitted Wiseman, who has played just 50 total NBA games so far. “I just came back from a rehab. Really, I’m just trying to get back on the court and just get my rhythm again.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both underwent treatment in Los Angeles today for their injuries, according to Malika Andrews of ESPN (video link). Leonard suffered a sprained right ankle in Monday’s game when he stepped on Amir Coffey‘s foot, and he may not be ready to return on Friday. George missed his second straight game tonight with a strained right hamstring. Neither injury is considered long-term, Andrews adds.
  • Chris Paul and Landry Shamet were full participants in a non-contact practice today, Suns coach Monty Williams tells Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Paul is trying to return from a heel injury, while Shamet has been in concussion protocols.
  • Lakers guard Max Christie has cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will join the team for Friday’s game in San Antonio, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
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