James Wiseman Showed Out In Japan, Looking Like The Player Golden State Fans Have Been Dreaming About Since The Warriors Drafted Him With The 2nd Pick
Early this morning and on the other side of the world, we had some actual NBA basketball. Well, kind of. It was preseason but whatever, you won't see me complaining about it. Basketball is basketball in my book and I am more than ready for the NBA to be back in my life on a nightly basis. It wasn't the best quality of basketball I've ever seen with the Warriors walking away with a 96-87 win, and you can tell guys are clearly a little rusty as we get back into the swing of things.
For example, Steph and Jordan Poole combined to go 2-17 (1-8) with 5 TOs (4 by Steph) in their collective minutes. Andrew Wiggins went just 1-8 in his minutes, Where was that shit in the NBA Finals huh? What the hell. Klay isn't playing at all in Japan so don't even ask about him. Things weren't that much better on the Wizards side either with Porzingis putting up a 3-10 showing, newly acquired Monte Morris tossing up a 4-10 and Bradley Beal finishing with only 9 points, although he did finish 4-8 from the floor. When one team (GS) shoots 36/26 with 17 TOs and the other (WSH) shoots 36/17% with 14 TOs, it's not exactly the best basketball you've ever watched.
But that's not the point of this blog. The reason for writing this is because of what a particular player did do. James Wiseman was easily the story of this game, and you can see why
I was in Vegas for Summer League, I watched James Wiseman. I watched him get absolutely waxed by Mfiondu Kabengele when GS played BOS. He most certainly did not look like the player we saw today. You have to remember Wiseman is still so young (21 years old) and it's still so early in his development that it'd be silly to write him off just because he hasn't truly popped at the NBA level yet. My guess is that's coming as long as he stays healthy and has the opportunity. Look at how fluid he moves for a player his size. It's crazy. If you're a Warriors fan that maybe wants Wiseman to show a little more toughness, I'd say the finish on Porzingis was pretty tough
If it feels a little unfair that a team that just won the title could also have a young prospect like this, well I mean welcome to the world. That's what happens when you're allowed to tank a year because of injuries. The Warriors aren't the first franchise to ever benefit from something like this. Ever hear of Tim Duncan and the Spurs? They won 59 games in 1995. Had injuries in 1996 which led to them winning 20 games and getting the #1 pick, where they drafted Duncan. From then on they won at least 50 games for the next like 20 years while winning multiple titles.
I'm certainly not suggesting that James Wiseman is Tim Duncan, that would be utter insanity. But what I'm saying is Wiseman isn't even the only elite young prospect the Warriors have which feels a little unfair considering they are already really fucking good. They won 57 games, had a lost season due to injury, won 15 games in 2019 which resulted in the #2 pick where they took Wiseman. Then you add in Kuminga/Moody as well and that's in theory the next wave of the Warriors Dynasty.
What's interesting about Wiseman is that the Warriors did just extend Kevon Looney this summer with a 3/22M deal to be their starting center. After him, there really isn't another backup center on the roster other than Wiseman, so if he can stay healthy there's a real chance to see legit minutes. He gives them an element on offense that no other big currently does, and his defense and rim protection will only get better as he gets older and has more NBA minutes under his belt. Preseason is the type to buy all the hype and get drunk off the potential of your favorite team. That's what makes it fun. We've been hearing about Wiseman for years now and he's only played 39 career games so if this is the season where we not only see him actually play all year but he also shows some legit improvement and development, why wouldn't Warriors fans be excited?
For the rest of us, it's probably the last thing we want to see. The Warriors simply refuse to go away. On one hand, I respect it. Being this good for this long is pretty rare in NBA history. On the other hand, they ruined my life this summer so I've easily had more than enough of them.