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Warriors’ James Wiseman plan ahead of make-or-break season

James Wiseman, Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr

The Golden State Warriors reportedly expect James Wiseman to play “meaningful minutes” this season as he enters his third year in the NBA. The 7-foot big man sat out the entirety of last season as well as the majority of his rookie year due to a major knee injury, but it looks like he’s now ready to make a splash for the Warriors in 2022-23.

Warriors insider Monte Poole of NBC Sports reports that it has been so far so good for Wiseman in terms of his development this summer. Golden State likes what they’ve been seeing from him this offseason. In particular, his “running and jumping are smooth, his general movements becoming more decisive.”

With regard to his role in the pecking order, however, it sounds like Wiseman will not be part of the Warriors’ starting lineup on opening night:

Every sign, spoken and unspoken, indicates Wiseman will be coming off the bench in relief of starting center Kevon Looney and providing a dimension the Warriors currently lack: Someone with a 9-foot-6 standing reach and enough athleticism to make good use of it.

This makes sense. Kevon Looney has been quite a revelation for the Warriors, and he’s done well as this team’s starting center. This is not etched in stone, though, and Wiseman could potentially outplay Looney and make his case for the starting lineup. At this point, however, coach Steve Kerr seems more comfortable with bringing Wiseman off the bench.

In 39 games played during the 2020-21 season, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game. There’s no denying that there will be a lot riding on this season for the former No. 2 overall pick.