James Wiseman hasn’t played much basketball in the last three years. He only played three games in college at Memphis. He played 39 of 72 games in the abbreviated 2021 season. And he missed his entire future sophomore season with a knee injury.
He comes in with the fewest NBA games played in Golden State’s group of young players: Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. However, it’s the 2020 second overall pick that has gotten consistent minutes early in the season.
“I like our second-unit combination of the two shooting guards who play pick-and-roll, Jordan [Poole] and dont [DiVincenzo], with James’ ability as a lob threat and lob threat,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “Those three have a good combination. We can put a lot of different people around those guys.”
James Wiseman is the only center on the Warriors’ roster, with Kevon Looney, JaMychal Green and Draymond Green playing center minutes.
James Wiseman in the pick-and-roll
Tuesday night’s win served as testament to what Kerr was alluding to about playing Poole and Divincenzo. Wiseman finished with eight points in 17 minutes and his first six points all came from the pick-and-roll. Additionally, there was also a pick-and-roll possession between Wiseman and Stephen Curry, though it resulted in a miss.
The Warriors have been planning for Jordan Poole’s top pick-and-roll game, James Wiseman to be a big part of the second unit since last season. This will be a big part of the identity of the new non-Curry unit. pic.twitter.com/srQUeS7c0T
—Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 19, 2022
In his rookie season, Wiseman showed potential as a good finisher. From zero to three feet from the basket, Wiseman shot 79.4%. That percentage would have placed him 13th in the league, along with Miami’s Bam Adebayo. However, James Wiseman did not make the list due to the time he missed in 2021.
It’s no secret that Wiseman is relatively raw in his skill set. He is a player who has not been able to play much in the NBA so far. But at the start of his de facto second season, James Wiseman is earning an opportunity to earn more minutes.