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NBA Draft’s James Wiseman similar to Chris Bosh, claims Penny Hardaway

Penny Hardaway, Chris Bosh, James Wiseman, Raptors, NBA Draft

Two of the biggest uncertainties of the 2020 NBA Draft are what the Golden State Warriors will do the No. 2 overall pick and what to make of James Wiseman, who played just three games in his one season at Memphis due to a suspension over illegal payments.

The 19-year-old, 7-foot-1 prospect (with a 7’6 wingspan) has enticing potential and athleticism, and he could be the Warriors’ big man of the future—and an ideal fit alongside veteran stars Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

There isn’t much tape to crunch on Wiseman at Memphis, but his coach, ex-NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway, is vouching for his skills, and thinks he’d be a great fit in Golden State.

“He can easily keep up with the game and the pace,” Hardaway told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s very athletic, very fast. He’d instantly be one of the better rim runners in the league. He’s also a rim protector; he is going to protect the rim. His skill set is good enough now, and it’s going to get better, especially because he’d be playing with veterans like Draymond, Klay and Steph.

“Also, he can space (his shot) out to the 3. He’s been working on his jump shot and his understanding of studying film and what a team wants and needs. In their system, with those guys, he would be spectacular.”

Golden State is reportedly interested in Wiseman after an impressive workout.

Hardaway cited Wiseman’s ability to switch on defense—a quality the Warriors deeply value.

“He’s pretty good at both ends, but if I had to say where he’s further ahead, I’d say defense,” said Hardaway. “He is determined to protect that rim and do it on a nightly basis. I’m not saying he’s going to score 15 or 20 points a game, but I’m going to say he’ll protect that rim and rebound the ball every night.

“As far as switching, absolutely. He can do it. I had him doing that for a while. I know the league is the highest level, but he has the foot speed and the quickness to switch out onto point guards and actually play them.”

Hardaway even so far as to compare James Wiseman with 11-time All-Star Chris Bosh.

“Parts of his game remind me of Chris Bosh. I know that’s a stretch for a lot of people. But when I see him, the way he’s been able to work his way out to the 3-point line, there are similarities to Bosh. But he’s way more athletic.”

The Warriors could deal the pick with the aim of adding a player that can help them compete for a title immediately, but Hardaway is understandably hoping to see Wiseman land in the Bay.