Former Golden State Warriors No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman made his debut with the Detroit Pistons Wednesday. It was Wiseman’s first game since being traded from the Warriors ahead of the deadline.
The big man’s former teammate, Draymond Green, posted a simple message, encouraging Wiseman.
Green shared a photo of Wiseman during his debut to his Instagram story, captioning it, “Young fella in the mitten!! Go be a star.”
The 21-year-old looked pretty comfortable in his new threads on February 15. He scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting and grabbed 5 rebounds in 23 minutes in the Pistons’ 127-109 loss to the Boston Celtics.
Detroit will likely be a great situation for Wiseman. He’ll have plenty of room to learn and develop as a player, while growing alongside the team’s young core of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, and Isaiah Stewart.
Wiseman Discusses Transition Away From Warriors
Following his solid debut, the seven-footer spoke with The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III, discussing the transition to his new team.
“It’s just different names,” Wiseman told Edwards when asked about the new plays he has to remember. “Same offenses, but just different names. I was out there hesitant, trying to figure out what to do. I’m going to get it.”
Wiseman remains driven despite being traded away from Golden State. His Pistons debut was nothing to sneeze at, but he still expressed the desire to improve.
“I could do better,” he said. “My wind got to me a little bit. I’m going to do way better when I get my conditioning up.”
Wiseman will have plenty of time to catch his breath as he and the Pistons roll into the All-Star break. His next chance to show out will be on February 23, when Detroit takes on the Orlando Magic.
Steve Kerr Speaks on James Wiseman’s Warriors Exit
In 60 games for the Warriors over a season and a half, Wiseman averaged only 18.3 minutes a game, but doesn’t mean that head coach Steve Kerr wasn’t sorry to see him go.
“It’s hard on a personal level, because of our affection for James, and the talent level. I was all-in on taking James when we did, I was part of the group, and loved the ability, loved everything we saw,” Kerr told reporters at a February 13 press conference. “You can’t always foresee the circumstances. At the time we had the worst record in the league, Klay had just torn his Achilles. We didn’t really know where we were as a team. Frankly, we didn’t know we would win a championship just a year and a half later. I think the important thing … is in this league, and in all sports, you have to move forward. You can’t look back. You have to move forward and make whatever moves that are necessary to allow you to succeed in the present state of the team and going forward.”
He was later asked why he thought Wiseman didn’t work out with the Warriors, he cited the fit, but, again had high praise for the young talent.
“Everybody here loved James, that’s been a common theme, just our affection for him because of what a hard worker he is, what a great young man he is, just how much he wants it, how committed he is, what he’s been through with all the injuries,” he explained to the press. “But, I think between the injuries and the inexperience, coming to a team like ours that’s fighting for championships, playing with a group that’s been together for a long time. It was just difficult for me to give James the runway that he needed. He was great every single day when he came to work he had a great attitude and a positive spirit. He’s everything you look for in a young player in terms of his approach and his talent. But, the timing was difficult just given what he needed and where we are as a franchise. I think this will be good for him, to hopefully get a chance to play, make the mistakes he needs to make, and have a runway, and grow and develop into the player he can become. He’s got a lot of ability, and we know he’ll work for it.”