NBA

James Wiseman has the Tools to Become a Future Star

Apr 6, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) makes a layup against the Milwaukee Bucks in the second quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The future is looking very bright for second overall pick James Wiseman. The rookie Warriors center may very well develop into a star in the years to come.

Per 36 minutes this season, Wiseman is averaging 18.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks a game. He is playing stellar basketball, considering he is in his rookie year. Additionally, he is tied first among all rookies in blocks per game.

Although Wiseman has looked inconsistent at times for Golden State, head coach Steve Kerr is confident that he will continue to improve.

“And I think it’s just all part of the process, and no matter how we look at it, James just needs time. He’s going to need a summer league and a training camp next year. And he’s going to grow, he’s going to get better and better, and he’s going to be a great player. But we just can’t force the issue.”

Steve Kerr, following a Warriors practice

Despite some of Wiseman’s recent struggles, he certainly has the tools to become a future star. So today, we’ll take a look at Wiseman and why this is the case.

Wiseman has Some Incredible Mentors

Jan 20, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) high fives forward Draymond Green (23) as a time out is called by the San Antonio Spurs during the third quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
 Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Wiseman has some stars mentoring him daily, both on the Warriors and other teams. Firstly, on his team, he has former DPOY Draymond Green constantly giving him feedback and making him a better player.

Draymond’s defensive expertise will be vital to Wiseman in the future. With Wiseman’s seven-foot frame and excellent athleticism, he has the potential to be deadly on the defensive end. Coupled with a defensive-minded coach in Steve Kerr, the pieces are in place for Wiseman to be a fantastic defender.

Steph Curry is also a fantastic compliment to Wiseman. His experience and vast basketball IQ can be very beneficial for the rookie. Curry and Wiseman are already a tremendous pick-and-roll duo, as Curry can dish the ball to Wiseman for easy twos. Curry’s skilled playmaking and great floor vision will undoubtedly help Wiseman develop into an even better finisher at the rim.

Wiseman also can get some playoff experience early in his career, either this season or the next when Klay Thompson returns. Being on the big stage will additionally be valuable in his development as a player.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant

Dec 22, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) dunks against Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
 Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Wiseman also revealed in an interview that he talks to Kevin Durant daily. Durant has been giving him advice and helping him through his NBA journey since he entered the league. Having a former Warrior in Durant to guide him and help him find his place in the team’s system will be infinitely valuable to Wiseman in the future.

Kyrie Irving has also been giving Wiseman advice and helping him get better as a player. Having two of the most skilled players in NBA history is priceless in Wiseman’s development.

Both Kyrie’s and KD’s advice will undoubtedly help him improve his confidence and will make him much better in the long run.

Overall, Wiseman has some of the best mentors you can have in the NBA. With Draymond, Curry, Kyrie & KD, and other Warriors players and staff all in his ear, Wiseman will only continue to improve as a player.

Wiseman Fits the Mold for the Modern NBA Center

Feb 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) takes a shot over Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews (9) in the first half of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The skillsets of NBA centers have changed drastically over the last decade. Many big men, such as Al Horford and Brook Lopez, have been forced to change their playstyle to fit the “new” NBA. More and more centers can shoot the three and handle the ball at an elite level.

James Wiseman is a player that can do both of these things. He is a solid shooter and can put the ball on the floor at an elite level for a player of his height. Coupled with his great shot-blocking ability and defensive potential, Wiseman is the complete package. He indeed does have what it takes to become a future star and a dominant big in this league.

Penny Hardaway, a former all-star and Wiseman’s high school coach, had this to say about Wiseman’s rare blend of skills:

“James is unique. We call him a unicorn… That’s how rare he is.”

Penny Hardaway on what makes Wiseman such a special prospect

Although Wiseman is 7’1, he has the skills of a guard. He truly is a one-of-a-kind player and has the potential to be a future star in the years to come.

In conclusion, James Wiseman is a young big with a huge upside. He has the skillset and mentors around him to be a future star in the NBA. He will only continue to get better and grow more confident.

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