The Golden State Warriors franchise is one of the most well-run organizations in all of sports. The Warriors won their fourth championship in the past decade after they defeated the Boston Celtics in six games during the 2022 NBA Finals. Amidst all their success, one of the most crucial players for the Warriors’ future, James Wiseman, has gone mostly forgotten after his injury. But Wiseman announced his return in a big way during a preseason tilt against the Washington Wizards in Japan.
Wiseman dropped 20 points and 9 rebounds on a clean 8/11 from the field in 24 minutes of action, showing off the potential he possesses in spades. It has been 17 months since his last appearance on the court, but Wiseman looks as spry as ever. It’s as if he didn’t miss any time due to a meniscus injury.
James Wiseman moves way too smoothly for being that big of a human.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) September 30, 2022
James Wiseman was the story of the Warriors' preseason opener. Finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds in 23 bench minutes. Five dunks. Went 8/11 shooting. Sealed the win with a lefty hook and two FTs in final couple minutes. Moved well and was a presence at the rim.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 30, 2022
In fact, Wiseman even put Kristaps Porzingis on a poster, drawing ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the crowd.
JAMES WISEMAN POSTER ON PORZINGIS. 😳
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) September 30, 2022
Of course, Warriors fans were delighted with what they saw from the 21-year old. The second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Wiseman showed the offensive tools that made the Warriors select him over All-Star guard LaMelo Ball.
Wiseman outscores Steph/Poole/Wiggins combined pic.twitter.com/ExtdlrMxJd
— warriorsworld (@warriorsworld) September 30, 2022
Best game I’ve seen Wiseman ever play
— O3MaR (@KILLIO_JALEN) September 30, 2022
It’s over ladies and gentlemen. The league is not ready.
— Sky 💙💛 (@stevekerr_acc) September 30, 2022
However, it was on the defensive end that Wiseman struggled the most during his rookie season. He ended up having a short leash from head coach Steve Kerr, and by the end of his rookie campaign, he got relegated to a bench role with the Warriors pursuing a playoff spot.
Nevertheless, Wiseman will have a huge role to play off the Warriors bench in the upcoming season. The third-year center out of Memphis will be eager to show that he can carve out an instrumental part on a contending team’s roster.
James Wiseman could perhaps even usurp Kevon Looney as the Warriors’ starting center if he continues to play like he did. One thing’s for sure, he will be an invaluable part of the Warriors’ future as the Stephen Curry-led core gets up there in years.