It’s been said often this NBA season: when the Warriors get James Wiseman back from injury, watch out. Golden State will be even more imposing to the rest of the league.
But at this rate, will Wiseman set foot on the court in 2022? He’s nearly 10 months past his torn meniscus in his knee, projected to heal in nine months at the longest. After the Warriors have predicted his return multiple times this season only to see Wiseman have a setback (he required additional surgery to clean up the area in his knee and reduce swelling), coach Steve Kerr is done predicting. Now, he’s simply aligned Wiseman’s chances with fate.
So according to Kerr, there’s a chance. How’s that for a prediction?
Wiseman practiced Saturday, Feb. 5, though it was a non-contact practice. By all accounts, Wiseman was all smiles and in good spirits, at the least.
Here’s some additional insight from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau.
Last month, head coach Steve Kerr said he was done speculating about when Wiseman could come back. A rehab rife with unexpected setbacks has Kerr preferring to focus on the present.
“He practiced today and looked great,” Kerr said. “This being James’ second season, he’s got a foundation of knowledge that’s going to be really important for him when he does get back on the floor.”San Francisco Chronicle
Kerr’s quote is key. The Warriors lack size and Wiseman is a legit 7-feet tall. Golden State could need him in the playoffs. And it looks as though he’ll have next to no time to prepare.
Letourneau, in a surprise to me, says Wiseman might not play “at all” in the playoffs.
Whenever Wiseman is cleared for games, he will be on a strict minutes restriction. It appears unlikely that Wiseman will play much, if at all, in the playoffs.San Francisco Chronicle
I have to disagree a bit with this if I understand it correctly. I say that if Wiseman is healthy, he’ll absolutely play in the playoffs. But he won’t play much. Think about ex-Warriors center JaVale McGee. During Golden State’s back-to-back titles last decade, McGee was a huge factor but averaged fewer than 10 minutes of action per game.
Just like McGee, a little Wiseman can go a long way. But will we ever get a glimpse of the second-year lottery pick on the floor this season? As Kerr said, we’ll have to wait and see.