Warriors Finally Reveal Return Date for Former No. 2 Overall Pick

Naz Reid

Getty/Ezra Shaw Naz Reid of the Minnesota Timberwolves battles for a rebound against a trio of Golden State Warriors at Chase Center in San Francisco.

As we march towards the end of the regular season, Warrior fans are anxiously waiting for the return of their bigs, Draymond Green and James Wiseman. The lack of size down low has caused the Warriors problems, and they have had trouble matching up against opposing star bigs.

As previously covered, Green’s timetable is vague at best and he has not really been ramping up any activities that is known publicly. However, Green has been vocally estimating his own timetable the past couple weeks.

Meanwhile, James Wiseman has been ramping up his rehab rather quickly the past month or so. After being delayed for much of the season, good news seems to be around the corner for Wiseman.

Dieter Kurtenbach of the Bay Area News Group told his cohost Cyrus Saatsaz on Locked on Warriors off air of an actual target date that the team is looking at for Wiseman’s debut this season. Saatsaz mentions this on the February 18 episode of Locked On Warriors podcast around the 26 minute mark.

“Dieter revealed…a source tells him that James Wiseman will be playing on March 1…before we finally see the former #2 pick on the court.”

That puts Wiseman on track to return in exactly a week against the Timberwolves. The Warriors are slated to begin a four-game road trip that starts in the Twin Cities.

Wiseman is the only player on the current roster that is taller than 6’9”, and that would be ideal against a team like Minnesota which can play multiple bigs on the court at the same time in Karl Anthony-Towns and Naz Reid.

One Teammate Raves About What He’s Seen from Wiseman

With Wiseman getting a lot of work in with team personnel and players, it’s not difficult to see how some of his teammates speak of how the former Memphis Tiger’s rehab has looked.

Andrew Wiggins spoke with NBC Sports’ Grant Liffmann and had high praise for Wiseman.

“Obviously he’s had his ups and downs already in his career with the injury and stuff, but he’s still so young and if you look at him now, he’s a tank, man. He’s a tank, he’s been working hard, so I feel like when he comes back he’s going to dominate. He has his head on straight, he comes into the facility, to the games with a good attitude, ready to work, ready to get better. The main thing about him is he listens, he wants to get better, he wants to learn. I think the sky is the limit for him also.”

Like Wiseman, Wiggins understands the struggles the big man has had to endure early on, especially coming in drafted so high. Like many of his other teammates, Wiggins is ecstatic that Wiseman will be back on the court soon, and apparently thinks he will be back dominating.

James Wiseman Getting Some Run in G-League

 While the Warriors have been taking their much-needed rest during the All-Star break, Wiseman has been ramping up his rehab.

As reported from The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, Wiseman is expected to get some practice time in with the G-League affiliate, Santa Cruz Warriors. Once he gets back into game shape, he will log some minutes with the G-League team to build back his conditioning.

The ultimate goal is for Wiseman to return as Kevon Looney’s backup for the Warriors. And now with the target date of March 1, we could be seeing Wiseman back on the floor rather soon.

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