After a lengthy stay in the G League with the Sea Dubs, Golden State Warriors center and former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman was finally back in the fold on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, his big return to the NBA level left a whole lot to be desired.
Wiseman saw all of five minutes of court time against the Utah Jazz, scoring two points on 1-of-2 shooting and grabbing a pair of rebounds. Meanwhile, the Dubs were outscored by three points when he was on the floor.
No one ever expected the 21-year-old’s extended stay in Santa Cruz to be the cure-all for his developmental shortfalls. However, any progress that he might have made during his time there probably wasn’t going to jump off the screen in just five minutes of action during a weird game between two shorthanded teams.
More data is needed to make a real determination on where Wiseman is now and what he needs to do going forward. Alas, it could be a hot minute before he gets another shot at the top level.
Warriors Send Wiseman Back to the G League
Per an announcement from the Warriors on Thursday, Wiseman and rookies Ryan Rollins and Patrick Baldwin Jr. have been reassigned to the Sea Dubs. And it’s probably a safe bet that the trio will be in uniform for Santa Cruz’s Friday night bout with the South Bay Lakers at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
His ho-hum return in Salt Lake City notwithstanding, Wiseman did display a level of growth over the course of his time in the G League. After failing to truly dominate in his first several appearances for the club, he dropped 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting and added 13 boards, two blocks and a steal on December 2 against the Stockton Kings.
He also managed to trim his foul rate, having racked up 11 whistles over his first three games compared to just nine over his final four.
Rollins and Baldwin, meanwhile, haven’t so much as sniffed the court for the Warriors since November 23. The former has been balling in the G League, though. During a December 3 rematch with the Kings, Rollins scored 22 points while adding five boards and four assists.
Bay Area Host Makes Impassioned Plea for Wiseman
For a segment of the Warriors fan base, Steve Kerr’s reluctance to play Wiseman in his return just served as further proof that the Dubs coach isn’t doing right by the blue-chipper. For his part, 95.7 The Game‘s Daryle ‘Guru’ Johnson was livid over the situation in the wake of Golden State’s latest loss.
“There is no way Joe Lacob is signing off on how James Wiseman is being… how, in that game — forget the outcome — do you bring him up and only give him five minutes?” Johnson said. “Quit toying with the kid. Let him just play, let him fail. But watching that last night and to give him five minutes… that’s tearing him down,” Guru declared.
“What are we trying to do with the No. 2 pick? He’s healthy, you sent him to Timbuktu, and he’s back in a game you’re down three starters. I don’t get it, man — free Wiseman!”