Golden State Warriors

Warriors’ Steve Kerr on James Wiseman: ‘we don’t need him to be a superstar right now’

Oh, what a difference a year makes.

When the Golden State Warriors drafted center James Wiseman with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, they wasted little time in anointing him the starter. That was despite Wiseman’s brief career at Memphis, where he played just three games as a collegiate athlete.

But as Wiseman recovers from a torn meniscus in his knee in preparation for the 2021-22 campaign, coach Steve Kerr says that Wiseman simply has to steadily improve his game and play a role for Golden State.

“I know everybody is in a rush for everything to happen today, but it’s going to take James a while to put everything together. We have the time to do that. We’re working with him every day in practice. We’ve got a really good team that’s going to complement him well. …

“When he is back out there, we feel like he’s going to grow and blossom and complement our team. But we don’t need him to be a superstar right now. We just need him to continue on his path of improvement.”–Steve Kerr

San Francisco Chronicle

Kerr and the Warriors made an error in throwing Wiseman on the floor as a starter so soon last season, but at least they’ve seen the light now. Better late than never, is what I like to say.

Thankfully, Wiseman is on schedule to return from his injury on time. But unfortunately, it will be a while before he’s fully healthy. Per the San Francisco Chronicle, Wiseman will be reevaluated on Nov. 1, and if he’s cleared to practice, it will likely take four to six weeks to regain his basketball shape.

That’s because the Warriors opted for a more extensive surgery that will take longer to heal.

The decision was made to do a complete repair of the torn meniscus with a projected six- to nine-month recovery period, rather than shaving the injured part that wouldn’t regrow and getting Wiseman back on the court within weeks.

Rusty Simmons/San Francisco Chronicle

But when Wiseman returns, I expect him to thrive in his role as an athletic big man to compliment the Warriors’ assortment of 3-point shooters, led of course by superstar guard Stephen Curry. Once again, better late than never, as the Warriors attempt to meld their older superstars with a promising young core of players.

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