The NBA offseason is sizzling already, with the NBA Summer League in session in Las Vegas. And though the Warriors are fresh off another NBA championship, fans are clamoring for a look at Golden State’s next batch of hopeful superstars.
Most notably, center James Wiseman is set to get some action in Summer League for the first time in his young career. Though he’s entering his third season as a pro, injuries prevented Wiseman from participating in the Las Vegas showcase in the lead-up to his first two campaigns.
Warriors team-owner Joe Lacob isn’t worried about Wiseman’s set of skills, however, despite his limited experience in the NBA. He told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic that Wiseman is a “monster” who can do things on the court that others simply cannot.
“I will just tell you I think he has the potential to be an enormously positive addition to the minutes rotation of our team. He is a monster. Sorry, I’ve been watching basketball all my life. I have not seen many players do what he can do. He’s gotten bigger and stronger … he’s 21 years old.
“We think of these things a little differently. … He doesn’t have to be an overnight sensation. But over a few years, he can become a really good player and I think he will be.”–Joe LacobThe Athletic
That’s certainly some heavy praise for Wiseman from the Warriors’ head honcho.
And when Lacob says, “We think of these things a little differently,” I believe he’s referring to a new set of expectations for Wiseman. As a rookie, he was thrust into the starting lineup and expected to blossom right away. He experienced growing pains, however — not with his own skills, but with fitting into the Warriors’ motion offense that is designed to feature superstar Stephen Curry.
But now, Wiseman knows his role is simple yet vital. In Summer League, however, he’ll have more room to showcase the skills that compelled the Warriors to select him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2020. Ideally for Golden State, it all adds up to a healthy, productive year for Wiseman in 2022.