James Wiseman hasn’t played in an NBA game in 15 months, but after watching his Golden State Warriors win a championship without him, he’s ready to start making up for the lost time. In fact, he did so the moment he stepped on the floor for the Warriors in a Summer League matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, making huge plays on the very first possession on both sides of the ball.
On offense, the Warriors kicked things off with a pick-and-roll run by Jonathan Kuminga. Wiseman was on the receiving end of his lob pass and showed off his athleticism with a thunderous dunk.
On defense, the Spurs also ran a pick-and-roll, but Wiseman split the difference between attacking the ball and protecting the basket beautifully. He ultimately ended up with this block.
Wiseman’s night was brief. He played just 19 minutes. But in that time, his 11 points, two blocks and single made 3-pointer gave the Warriors plenty to get excited about as he attempts to get his career back on track.
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Wiseman did not play a single minute for Golden State last season. The Warriors evidently were not certain of what he could contribute next season because they re-signed Kevon Looney to a long-term deal. But if Wiseman can translate these flashes into steady production, the Warriors will have two viable options at center to pair with Draymond Green, who will also play several minutes at the position in most big games.
The Warriors have never been known for deep front courts, but with Green and Looney as veterans paired with Wiseman and Kuminga for young depth, Golden State might have its best group of bigs in the Stephen Curry era. Wiseman’s first two years have been rocky, but he’s finally starting to show some of the potential that made him the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.