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Pump the brakes on James Wiseman hype, Warriors coach Steve Kerr warns

Warriors, James Wiseman, Steve Kerr

The Golden State Warriors had any number of options with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, but ultimately chose to stay put and select Memphis center James Wiseman.

Golden State has lacked an impact big for years, and Wiseman is the kind of athletic, rim-running center who might develop into a star for the Warriors.

But Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is cautioning against big expectations.

Kerr elaborated on how the team will look to involve Wiseman in the offense, saying the rookie might be relied upon more to fill space and pursue easy buckets around the rim while also being a weak-side defender and shot blocker.

Kerr noted Wiseman has tremendous ability, but the Warriors coach also suggested there is a lot of work to be done:

“James has a lot to catch up on … there’s a ton to learn and [Wiseman] doesn’t have the value of a summer league and a summer of workouts. A lot to catch up on,” Kerr said, via Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “I’m excited for James, but also want to preach caution for everybody not to expect too much too soon. He played three college games. He has a lot of things to learn.”

Indeed, Wiseman’s Memphis career was cut short after he was suspended by the NCAA for allegedly receiving impermissible benefits from Tigers head coach Penny Hardaway. Wiseman subsequently left Memphis to prepare for the draft.

Still, evaluators laud the Nashville native’s combination of size and athleticism. Wiseman also has a decent mid-range game that could help him evolve into a capable stretch big over time.

For now, however, Wiseman is just a rookie trying to learn the ropes and help the Warriors get back to the playoffs. He has a lot of potential, but don’t expect too much right from the get-go.