The Golden State Warriors had to spend the final stretch of last season without rookie big man James Wiseman after he had to undergo surgery to repair an injured knee, but now it appears he could be ready and on the floor for the start of his second season.
The 19-year-old center took to social media this week to share an image of his rehab, which showed him working out on the court. That appears to put Wiseman on pace to join the team for the start of training camp, as the Warriors brass had already said earlier this summer.
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Wiseman Hits the Court
In the image shared on Instagram, Wiseman was seen moving laterally as he dribbled around a defender. The image caught the attention of Dr. Nirav Pandya, the director of the Center for Sports Medicine for Young Athletes in the Bay Area, who noted that it was a great sign to see Wiseman moving in this manner.
The workout also seems to indicate that there have been no hitches in Wiseman’s recovery. Back in July, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke to Anthony Slater of The Athletic on the big man’s rehab, saying he would likely be able to spend a full preseason with the team.
“He’s right on schedule for everything and, as of now, (the) medical team tells me he will be ready for camp,” Kerr said.
Wiseman had a rough transition to the NBA prior to the start of last season, missing the start of training camp after testing positive for COVID-19. The knee injury forced Wiseman to miss the last several weeks of the regular season along with both losses in the play-in tournament, as he finished the season averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds across 39 games.
Warriors Committed to Wiseman
While he projects to be in the starting lineup on opening night, Wiseman’s place with the Warriors has been anything but certain over the past several months. His name has regularly come up in trade rumors amid reports that the team was trying to snag another established NBA star to boost title hopes with the expected return of Klay Thompson next season.
That talk appears to be over now, with the Warriors passing on opportunities to trade Wiseman and reportedly committing to his development. Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported that both Wiseman and No. 7 draft pick Jonathan Kuminga are both safely off the trade block.
“Joe Lacob isn’t bluffing. He does not want to trade James Wiseman or Jonathan Kuminga. You can question his vision, but I wouldn’t be skeptical of the transparency,” Slater wrote.
“Go reread the quotes, if you want. He envisions Wiseman and Kuminga as supplementary, cheaper rotation pieces around an expensive core during their first NBA contract and the franchise’s superstar successors by the time they hit their second NBA contracts, ushering in the Warriors’ next era.”
Even if Wiseman’s rehab remains on track, Golden State will likely not have the full cohort ready for opening night. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that the team is expecting Thompson to miss several weeks at the start of the season as he finishes up rehab on a torn Achilles, rejoining the team by its Christmas Day game.