After a tough 120-98 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, the Golden State Warriors find themselves repeating their play from the beginning of the season. The team is now on a three-game losing streak heading into the halfway point of the season. Sitting at 19-18 just over the .500 mark, the team needs to quickly find a way to turn their play around for the second half of the season if they hope to make an appearance in the playoffs.
With the No. 2 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft, the Warriors drafted center James Wiseman from Memphis University. After only playing a few games in college, Wiseman went straight into the league at age 19. While Wiseman is attempting to get acclimated in the NBA, there is a lot of pressure put on the young star to immediately be great. With the hype surrounding the other top 3 draft picks LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards, teammate Steph Curry advises the young rookie to ignore the buzz surrounding his draft classmates.
Steph Curry Gives Advice to the Rookie
The Warriors acquired Wiseman with the hopes of filling their large void of needing a center. After starting for the team during the beginning of the season Wiseman was stripped of his starting position and assumed a limited bench role to get him more accustomed to being in the league. However, draft classmates Ball and Edwards have been receiving more hype than Wiseman. Being aware of this, In a postgame interview, Curry went into detail about his advice to Wiseman.
“It’s a matter of continuing his confidence that he can provide huge value for us. Not to get caught up in the rookie power rankings, the talk about other guys in the top of the draft class. Everybody’s in a different situation. We love having him.”
Although Wiseman has been struggling to stay consistent this season, both Wiseman and Edwards have been playing well for their respective teams. The Warriors could not have selected Edwards when their draft pick was up however, LaMelo Ball was still available when the Warriors selected. However, for reasons that the Warriors found to fit the team went with Wiseman. Having a shooter right by Curry would have in fact been beneficial to the team, but their need for a center was much greater. Through his first 26 games in the league, Wiseman is averaging 11.8 points and 6 rebounds per game.
The Warriors Have Faith in their Pick
After their loss to the Suns, head coach Steve Kerr talked to the press about his one improvement needed from Wiseman. “Rebounding…For us to win, to be competitive, he’s got to be a force in the paint and on the glass.” The Warriors are ranked at No. 22 in the league for rebounds, averaging 43.3 per game. For the Warriors to be fighting for a playoff spot, the team needs to improve their rebounding and Wiseman plays a huge role in this.
Stating that the rookie needs to improve confirms that Kerr has faith in his center. This would also go a long way in Wiseman’s development. However, Kerr knows that Wiseman is only 19 so he still has a ton of potential. If the team continues to be patient with their draft pick they could potentially have a star on their hands.
It’s still very early in their careers to tell which top draft pick is indeed better, however, they all still have room to turn into a star. Even though Wiseman isn’t putting up as great of numbers as the other two, Curry thinks it’s important for Wiseman to know that the organization has a lot of faith in the young star.