The Warriors will assign center James Wiseman to their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz for an “extended period,” head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the team’s blowout win over San Antonio on Monday (Twitter video link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).
“It’s not going to be one game and bring him back,” Kerr said. “We want to give him maybe 10 straight days, something like that.”
Wiseman opened the season as a regular part of Golden State’s rotation off the bench, but struggled to produce consistently and was a DNP-CD for three straight games last week. He got back on the court on Monday vs. the Spurs, but only once the Warriors had already put the game out of reach. For the season, he has a -24.4 net rating in his 147 minutes.
While Kerr said he anticipates the former No. 2 overall pick regaining a rotation spot at some point, the Warriors want to make sure he’s getting regular playing time and game reps instead of sitting on the bench with the NBA club.
As Kendra Andrews of ESPN writes, Wiseman said on Monday that he isn’t viewing the move as a demotion. Jordan Poole spent time in the G League during the 2020/21 season before eventually breaking out for the Warriors, and he’s optimistic that – like it did for him – some time in Santa Cruz could serve his teammate well.
“I’m telling (Wiseman) this is not a demotion. This is not a punishment,” Poole said, according to Andrews. “… I’m telling him to go down there and take 50 shots, be aggressive, get techs, hang on the rim, do it all. Just so he can understand what he wants to be at the highest level. This is just a step in that direction.”
Santa Cruz is scheduled to play against the South Bay Lakers on Saturday, followed by a back-to-back set against the Salt Lake City Stars on Monday and Tuesday. If Wiseman stays with the team beyond that, he could square off against Scoot Henderson and the G League Ignite next Friday (November 25).