After a ton of speculation, the Golden State Warriors did not trade their No. 2 overall draft pick from 2020, center James Wiseman. He’s set to be an integral part of the Warriors’ upcoming season, though it’s likely he’ll have a reduced role rather than be a starter, which he was as a rookie.
So what’s his best role? At 7-feet tall with a 7-foot-6 wingspan, it doesn’t take a genius to know he should thrive near the basket. And with a trio of superstar teammates in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Wiseman should have some open looks down low.
Judging from that and his performance last season, dunking the basketball could be his primary directive from coach Steve Kerr in 2021-22. He was the only rook in the NBA to tally more than 80 slam dunks last year, according to the Warriors’ official Twitter account.
That’s impressive, and even more so because Wiseman played in just 39 games as a rookie. That’s the primary reason he was left off the NBA All-Rookie Team, both the first and second unit. Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 52 percent from the field, however.
Kerr simply asked him to do too much, and when Kerr finally gave Wiseman a reduced role, he thrived before tearing the MCL in his knee. But he can certainly dunk the basketball. It’s a basic skill for such a versatile big-man, but just that simple act will help the 3-point shooting Warriors tremendously. As the 20 year old becomes seasoned, however, his game will undoubtedly evolve to much more than just a dunk.