The Golden State Warriors are trying to pull off one of the most difficult feats in NBA roster building – trying to remain competitive while also developing a young core to take the veterans’ place someday. James Wiseman will be crucial to the Warriors’ future, and at only 21 years of age, the sky is the limit for him if he continues to play like he did during their preseason opener against the Washington Wizards in Japan.

In 24 minutes, Wiseman posted an impressive 20 points and nine rebounds on an efficient 8-11 shooting from the field, showing flashes of what made him the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He even had a poster dunk on Kristaps Porzingis, for good measure. After the game, Wiseman revealed the mindset he’s trying to keep as he sets out to impress the Warriors coaching staff.

“This is my first game out of two years but I just went out there and just played my game and just be myself. I wasn’t trying to do as much, I wasn’t trying to do something that was outside of my boundaries. Just keep the game simple and be myself out there,” Wiseman said.

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The Warriors will not need James Wiseman to do anything more than he’s good at anyway, especially with the championship-winning core of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson still intact. Wiseman will have to excel at the little things – defense, rebounding, and communication – for him to succeed and be entrusted by coach Steve Kerr with more responsibilities.

The third-year center out of Memphis played in 39 games during his rookie season, starting in 27 of them after his development was made a priority by Kerr and his staff. While Wiseman had his fair share of struggles defensively, his tantalizing offensive potential is clear as someone who can finish at the rim at an elite level as well as space the floor.

James Wiseman’s last appearance on the court was on April 10, 2021, when he played six minutes against the Houston Rockets before he suffered a serious meniscus injury. After a year’s worth of rest and recovery, Wiseman will be eager to show why the Warriors took him over All-Star guard LaMelo Ball.