He doesn’t have much experience to speak of, but that isn’t holding rookie center James Wiseman back from a potential starting spot for his new team, the Golden State Warriors.
According to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle, Warriors coach Steve Kerr is still considering starting Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick in this years NBA draft, when the regular season starts this Tuesday against the Nets in Brooklyn. The coach as options, which is always a good thing.
“We haven’t decided,” Kerr said about the starting center spot, per Letourneau. “I think it could be any of the three (Wiseman, Kevon Looney or Marquese Chriss). It just depends on where we are on Tuesday.”
Kerr has utilized a center rotation throughout his tenure as Warriors coach, and that won’t stop now, at least for the time being. Long-term, the hope is that the 19-year-old Wiseman will grow into a superstar, owning the position and the bulk of its minutes outright.
But Kevon Looney helped Golden State win championships, and Marquese Chriss resurrected his career last season with the Warriors simply by switching to the center spot, where he looked more than serviceable. My best guess is that the well-rounded Chriss starts for now, allowing Wiseman to provide energy off the bench. Looney is a supreme role player and will be ready whenever Kerr calls on him.
Also, Wiseman hasn’t played a preseason game yet due to a bout with COVID-19. So it’s likely that Kerr will bring him off the bench, and either way, Wiseman won’t play much initially. But he says he feels good physically, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
Compared to championship clubs of recent year’s past, these Warriors are a bit of a mystery right now. They have two new starting wings in Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre, plus there’s been the absence of Wiseman and forward Draymond Green — who also tested positive for the virus — this abbreviated preseason. But Wiseman (pronounced Weiss-man) is a large piece of the puzzle. As the No. 2 pick in the draft, the entire league is waiting to see what he can do in the NBA, and they’ll likely get their chance during Tuesday’s nationally televised game, whether Wiseman starts or not.