Second-year Warriors center James Wiseman is scheduled to play in two games for Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, this week, per a team press release. Wiseman has recovered enough from a pair of procedures on his knee to be cleared to play in a game situation.
According to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link), while there’s still no official target date for Wiseman’s NBA return “whispers” indicate it could happen during an upcoming home stand at the Chase Center, from March 12-20. Sources tell Kendra Andrews of ESPN that Wiseman is “highly unlikely” to become a permanent part of Golden State’s playoff-bound rotation, but he is projected to earn occasional spot minutes.
The seven-footer, still just 20, was selected with the No. 2 pick out of Memphis in the 2020 draft. In his 39 healthy NBA games to this point, he has averaged 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG. His lack of experience will likely preclude him from being more than the Warriors’ third center this year.
There’s more out of the Chase Center:
- Though the Warriors could benefit from an additional reserve center behind starter Kevon Looney, the team appears to have prioritized wings as it makes a postseason push, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Kawakami notes that 6’7″ starting power forward Draymond Green remains the club’s most effective center as a small-ball option, adding that Wiseman could work as a backup big in certain situations.
- Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has identified rookie wing Moses Moody as a key piece for Golden State moving forward, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). “He’s a keeper,” Kerr raved after Moody scored a career-high 30 points in Denver on Monday.. “He’s a guy who’s going to be a cornerstone for this team for a long time to come. It’s easy to see that right now in his rookie year.”
- As part of his NBA 40 Under 40 series, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic interviews Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Kirk Lacob, noting that the son of team majority owner Joe Lacob, has become a trusted voice for team president Bob Myers. The younger Lacob discussed how the team handles player development with a new youth-heavy roster. “We’ve got someone on the coaching staff who is solely kind of dedicated as the director of player development and their job is to make sure players have development courses at every part of their career, and that the coaching staff is on the same kind of alignment as the performance team because that’s a whole other player element is your physical performance,” he said. “On the front office side, we’ve got a whole group and we call them team development, but part of team development is player development.”