The Golden State Warriors are down two of their most effective big men for the near future, but reportedly have no plans to seek help from the trade block.
Second-year center James Wiseman has yet to suit up this season as he continues to work his way back from a torn meniscus in his knee that cut short his rookie season, and veteran Draymond Green remains out for at least a week longer with a back ailment of his own. Despite the depleted ranks in the frontcourt, an insider reveals that the Warriors don’t plan to look outside the organization for help.
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Staying Put at Deadline
As Anthony Slater of The Athletic noted, the Warriors are content with their frontcourt, especially the reliable play of starting center Kevon Looney. The veteran big man is averaging 6.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in 20.7 minutes per game, and has started all 47 of Golden State’s games this year.
As Slater wrote, the Warriors are not actively looking for any help at center, despite some ongoing rumors connecting them to veteran bigs.
“No, sources insist, the front office doesn’t have any current plans to add outside help to shore up the center spot in the immediate,” Slater wrote. “Marc Gasol has hinted at a possible NBA return in the coming months. Paul Millsap, whom the Warriors discussed adding this summer, is in search of another team. But don’t expect a shake-up.”
More Help on the Way for Warriors
While they may not be making any trade-deadline acquisitions, the Warriors do have an important addition on the way. Wiseman continues to work his way back, though is behind some of the initial estimates for his return. While he is expected to play a role in the rotation, it’s not clear if Wiseman would start after an up-and-down rookie year where he showed some flashes of strong play but also struggled.
The Warriors have also found a way to get around an injury to their most important defensive stopper. While Green has been sidelined with a back injury, rookie Jonathan Kuminga has taken his place in the starting lineup. Kuminga has seen some rapid development, moving from the end of the bench and splitting time with Golden State’s G League affiliate to the starting lineup.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers spoke to The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on the TK Show, explaining that Kuminga is developing differently than Wiseman, though that’s not a bad thing.
“They’re all different … everybody’s got to run their own race, every rookie has got to run their own race,” Myers said. “So you do pick up patterns and how you can better acclimate a guy. It’s not that anyone did anything wrong or corrected anything, it’s more about let’s put all the information on the table, knowing that each player is different and knowing that James [Wiseman] is a big and bigs sometimes take longer.”
Myers added that some of Wiseman’s roadblocks were out of his control, including missing both training camps — his rookie year due to a COVID-19 infection, and this season to his knee rehab.