James Wiseman faces an uncertain future with the Golden State Warriors, but one former NBA star believes the big man could grow past his early struggles and into a key part of the team’s offense alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
Wiseman’s name has been included in trade rumors for months, dating back to last season’s trade deadline, as insiders question whether the team has the patience to commit to his development. With the Warriors’ front office has reportedly committed to making the most of the remaining years of Curry’s peak, many believe Wiseman could be a casualty as the team looks to trade for a player with a more immediate impact. But at least one former NBA star still believes in the 20-year-old center.
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Wiseman Earns Big Praise
While there had been some questions about whether Wiseman could find his place in Golden State’s offense after struggling last season, Chris Bosh doesn’t have any worries about him. Speaking on ESPN, the former 11-time NBA All-Star said he can easily fit alongside Curry and Thompson next year.
“I truly believe in Wiseman. All he has to do is set screens for Steph and Klay, and roll, and he’ll be open all next season … they just have to really enjoy the situation that they’re in right now,” he said, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
Wiseman showed flashes of strong play last season, averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game on 51.9 percent shooting from the field, but also struggled at times to fit alongside Curry. As Sports Illustrated noted in April, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr deviated from his preferred motion offense more frequently later in the season, embracing Wiseman’s effectiveness on the pick-and-roll with Curry.
“We want to continue to run plenty of pick and rolls,” Kerr said at the time. “A big part of it is [Wiseman] is really starting to get comfortable with the timing…That’s the growth that we’ve been looking for. I’m really excited about his play in the pick-and-roll.”
Wiseman Could Be on Trade Block
Though he may have the endorsement of Bosh and some praise from his coach, Wiseman hasn’t been able to escape trade rumors. A number of team insiders have seen the young big man as an essential piece of any major deal, along with some combination of the team’s two lottery picks. The Warriors have been linked to stars like Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal, though it appears that some of the major deals could be slipping out of their grasp.
But the Warriors appear set to move forward with Wiseman for next season. After he lost the end of the season with a knee injury, Wiseman has been working on rehab and is set to rejoin the team soon, head coach Steve Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
“He’s right on schedule for everything and, as of now, (the) medical team tells me he will be ready for camp,” Kerr said.