They were the top two picks in the NBA Draft this season, and now we’ll get to see them against each other on the court not once, but twice in one week.
Warriors center James Wiseman, the second overall pick in the draft, will see No. 1 choice, guard Anthony Edwards, up close on Monday and Wednesday this week, as Golden State and Minnesota play a baseball-style two-game set in San Francisco.
So how well are the rookies faring in their new careers thus far? Here’s the tale of the tape, stats-wise, courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle and columnist Scott Ostler.
Edwards: 15 games, 24.6 minutes per game, 12.1 ppg, 34.7 FG%, 27.2 (22-for-81) 3ptFG%.
Wiseman: 16 games, 21.4 mpg, 11.8 ppg, 50.3 FG%, 33.3 (6-for-18) 3ptFG%, 6.1 rebounds.San Francisco Chronicle
Edwards is earning more minutes per game, but that’s expected, given that The Wolves are a rebuilding club. The Warriors are more in reload mode, with superstar Stephen Curry in the latter portion of his prime and a bevy of other expensive assets such as wings Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre, in addition to star forward Draymond Green.
It’s also not a surprise that Wiseman is shooting a higher percentage because he’s an inside player, for the most part anyway. As one can see from the tale of the tape, Wiseman is shooting 33 percent from 3-point land, higher than Edwards’ 27 percent from distance.
And that’s the large surprise to Wiseman’s game: he can stretch the floor as well as work in the pivot. That gives Wiseman’s career projection quite a large boost. As a guard, Edwards must improve his shooting drastically to have a solid career.
But most importantly, the Warriors need a win, whether Wiseman contributes or not. The Warriors are reeling, and the franchise owns Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2021. And while it’s top-three protected, the more the Wolves lose, the better it is for the Warriors, due to the NBA Draft lottery system.
So Monday and Wednesday are opportunities for the Warriors to get the season back on track, show that they made the right choice in Wiseman and improve their chances at a top-five selection in the upcoming NBA Draft. Get your popcorn ready for this double feature, starring the top two picks from the last selection meeting: Anthony Edwards and James Wiseman.
(Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)