Golden State Warriors’ first-round pick James Wiseman has officially been ushered into the Warriors’ franchise after finally attending multiple practices due to him testing positive for the coronavirus. With four days left before the team’s season opener, the rookie is getting a crash course of all of the ins-and-outs of the professional game.
At just 19-years-old, Wiseman was only able to play three college games at the University of Memphis before pursuing his professional career. It’s not a shocker that Wiseman still has some barriers to break down before he can be a permanent component of the Warriors’ lineup.
Wiseman’s Hall of Famer NBA Comparison
In a press conference on Wednesday, Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr made sure to highlight that the rookie has a little to go until he’s ready to be vital for the rotation. Kerr also made sure to be clear about his expectations from Wiseman for the upcoming season.
“I know all of our fans are probably hoping [Wiseman] is going to be David Robinson when he steps out on the floor,” Kerr said per Drew Shiller on Twitter. “But picture David Robinson as a sophomore at Navy — that’s the guy you’re comparing him to, not the all-star with the Spurs.”
Why Kerr chose Robinson for this NBA comparison does seem to make sense. Both are seven-foot left-handed shooters and were top picks in their perspective drafts. Wiseman has also mentioned watching tapes of David Robinson and studying his game. Kerr was actually a teammate of Robinson during his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs.
Of course when comparing your newly drafted rookie to a Hall of Famer that establishes a set of expectations that might be hard to fulfill early on. Wiseman has to first adjust to playing on a higher competition level along with stars like Stephen Curry and Draymond Green.
How Wiseman Looked to Kerr After First Scrimmage
Wiseman reached another chapter in his NBA career this past Wednesday playing in his first scrimmage as a rookie with the Warriors. Wiseman’s performance in the scrimmage was described as “good” by head coach Kerr.
“It was good, we played 12 minutes, so both James and Draymond really got to blow it out and they needed that run and to feel the pace of the game and to get up and down the floor,” Kerr told Bay Area reporters. “It went well. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a guy who hasn’t played basketball in about a year, so he made some great plays using his athleticism and his speed, and he was a little late on some plays because he hasn’t experienced what he’s looking at before.
Kerr said nothing that eluded Wiseman being ruled out of the running for the starting center position for the season opener against the Brooklyn Nets on December 22nd.
When Wiseman does make his official NBA appearance Kerr said that the rookie would start off playing in short bursts in order to get him acclimated to the pace of the NBA. After being at the bottom of the league last season, Wiseman could be a key component to the Warriors’ goal of being back at the top of the league.