The Golden State Warriors have recalled James Wiseman from the G League, the team announced on Tuesday.
Warriors recall center James Wiseman from Santa Cruz: pic.twitter.com/F563ZUifa8
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 6, 2022
Wiseman was assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors on November 15th after falling out of Steve Kerr’s rotation. He began 2022-23 as the Warriors’ backup center, part of bench units that struggled mightily on both sides of the ball, a driving force behind the defending champions’ ugly 3-7 start.
Wiseman played seven games during his stint with Santa Cruz, averaging 15.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 2.1 turnovers in 26.6 minutes per game while shooting 62.2% from the field. While those numbers are certainly encouraging on the surface, the all-encompassing issue that plagued Wiseman with the Warriors continued dogging him in the G League.
Santa Cruz was outscored by an average of 3.1 points with him on the floor, despite going 4-3 in games Wiseman played. The former No. 2 overall pick registered his only positive plus-minus in his G League finale, a double-digit win over the Salt Lake City Stars in which he scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Golden State’s net rating was -24.4 with Wiseman on the floor before he went to Santa Cruz, per NBA.com/stats, an easy team-worst. The Warriors’ overall net rating over that timeframe was -0.5, but they sported a very solid +6.2 net rating with Wiseman on the bench.
On-off data is noisy by nature, and Golden State didn’t exactly put Wiseman in the healthiest bench-lineup ecosystem. The Warriors’ second unit has only just begun stabilizing, with Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins joining a reserve group previously helmed by Jordan Poole to start the second and fourth quarters. Jonathan Kuminga’s sudden embrace of the two-way little things that impact winning has also sparked Golden State’s bench of late.
There’s just no nightly rotation role for Wiseman with Golden State right now, and that will likely prove the case for the season’s remainder barring serious injury to Draymond, Kevon Looney or JaMychal Green. The Warriors would no doubt seek interior reinforcements via trade in that scenario, too. Wiseman, after all, showed nothing in the G League to suggest he’d be ready in a few months’ time for the rigors and nuances of playoff basketball.
That doesn’t mean he’s a lost cause in the NBA, or even a likely trade chip, helpful as clearing his 2023-24 salary off the books would be. There’s still time for a player with Wiseman’s rare physical tools and nascent offensive skill to grasp the finer points of big-man play. He’s still just 22, lacking as much all-around high-level basketball experience as even some rookies.
But the ship has surely sailed on Wiseman contributing on Golden State’s quest for back-to-back titles, whether he’s playing in the NBA or G League.