The Golden State Warriors have seemed to fill in every position they’ve had with a star over the last several years. From their 2x MVP and star point guard Steph Curry, sharpshooting all-star guard Klay Thompson, and their former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green.
Even then they were able to add former 6th man of the year Leandro Barbosa, former all-star Demarcus Cousins, and their former Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Not to forget, their other former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.
Long story short, the Warriors have been no strangers to adding top-tier talent to the roster and are always looking to add more. That’s what made this past draft so special as they were able to select former Memphis Tigers center, James Wiseman.
During his tenure with Golden State, Cousins was limited in his play due to a pile-up of injuries and the subsequent recovery from them. Yet he, objectively, could be looked at as the only all-star caliber center the Warriors have had in recent years.
That all changes with Wiseman. The team sorely needs a reliable big man going into the back half of their previously mentioned stars’ careers. Not only is Wiseman being looked at as the future of the Warriors franchise, but he also is reminding some of another former all-star and possibly future Hall-of-Famer.
Is He Young Dwight Howard?
Enter Dorrell Wright, a former Warriors forward and, currently an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area. On the latest episode of Dub Talk with Grant Liffmann, Wright discussed how Wiseman reminds him of a younger Dwight Howard.
“I was able to see him playing early on in Memphis, and I’ve been able to follow him the last three months and seeing how he’s changing his body, how much stronger he is, how much faster he’s gotten,” Wright told host Grant Liffmann. “So just those skills that I’ve seen in those three games, it’s a scary scary sight where he is now. Mature body, more NBA reps under his belt, so I’m really looking forward to seeing him out there.
“He reminds me of Dwight Howard. When we came out in ’04, athletic guy who can run the floor hard, touch the top of the backboard if he wants to, but a little more skill with the ball in his hand and in the post. So I’m really looking forward to watching him.”
How Wiseman Can Make An Instant Impact
Coming into the NBA it’s always tough for most rookies to find their “lane”. Having been so good on the basketball court for the majority of their lives it’s a huge adjustment once they are regulated to certain roles in order to help the team succeed.
That’ll be no different for Wiseman. In high school and college, he was praised for his skill set and ability to be effective on both ends of the floor. Yet with this Warriors team, his scoring can take a step back as everyone on the floor is much more equipped, at this current time, to handle those responsibilities.
However, that doesn’t mean he can’t impact the floor on the defensive end in a major way. Wright spoke more about what Wiseman should consider given this team’s stature and how he will be key for them this season.
“I think his thing is coming in not even thinking about offense,” Wright told Liffmann. “He should be thinking ‘I’m the anchor of this defense. Only way this team wins is if I block shots, if I rebound at a high level, I’m communicating,’ because Draymond did it for so many years and come on, Draymond is what 6-foot-7, 6-foot-8? You’re talking about a 7-foot-1 kid — 18, 19 years old. He should have more energy than everybody.
“So I feel like if he commits to the defensive side, being there when guys get beat, being there on different pick-and-roll coverages and being able to guard multiple positions when he’s out there, he’s going to be in great hands. Because the offensive side of things is going to work out perfect because they move the ball so well. Ducking in, running the floor hard in transition, making a little 15-foot jumper. If he can buy into that, I think he’s in good hands.”