Why the Warriors Need to Take James Wiseman


In recent rumors, the Golden State Warriors have expressed that they are not interested in selecting guard LaMelo Ball, or center James Wiseman with their first round pick in this summer’s NBA Draft. There are obviously risks with both players, such as LaMelo taking a different route to the NBA than usual, playing professionally in Australia. Wiseman, as a freshman at Memphis, was suspended, then later withdrew from the season to prepare for the NBA draft. He only wound up playing 3 college games, making it hard to judge just how ready he is for the league.

Sam Vecenie – The Athletic

However, considering the structure of the Warriors roster, James Wiseman who plays at the 5 position, becomes the obvious pick. They have 4 proven starters in the lineup, in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. This leaves the center position open, and with the potential of drafting Wiseman, the Warriors dynasty may immediately return to the top of the NBA.

Despite doubts about him due to a lack of playing experience, Wiseman is still one of the best and most polished prospects in recent memory. He is a 7’1 center who is extremely mobile and athletic, making him a threat at both ends. In his first ever college game, he had 28 points in 22 minutes, showing a glimpse of his potential dominance at that level. He has a chance to be a perfect modern NBA center, with his ability to switch on defense, block and alter shots, run the floor and finish exceptionally around the rim.

Memphis center James Wiseman runs off the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Oregon won 82-74. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)
Craig Mitchelldyer – Associated Press

He may need to add 10-15 lbs, and may not be as NBA ready due to the lack of college experience, but the possibilities for Golden State with Wiseman are endless. They have never had a premier defensive center who can also contribute on the offensive end. Imagine a pick and roll with an excellent shooter like Curry and an athletic freak like Wiseman rolling to the rim, or Wiseman posting up surrounded by 4 knockdown shooters. It seems impossible to guard.

The Warriors may choose to select someone safer, or trade their pick for a proven NBA player. However, their team adding a big man with this much potential seems perfect. Wiseman has been highly recruited for years now, as the #1 prospect in his high school class, a 5-star recruit, and the projected #1 pick since well before he arrived at Memphis. If the Warriors ignore the risk involved, and take James Wiseman in the upcoming NBA draft, they should reap the rewards for years to come.


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