James Wiseman was the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft class. While he has shown some flashes of his talent and athleticism, he hasn't been someone that has provided an immediate impact for the Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors haven't had James Wiseman's services at all this season, as he has been rehabbing a meniscus injury that he sustained last season. While there was previously some optimism that he'd return to play some games this season, it has recently been revealed that he has been "temporarily shut down" due to "swelling in his right knee. Marcus Thompson II and Anthony Slater of The Athletic relayed the news.
The final stage of James Wiseman's return to the Warriors has hit another speed bump. Because of some swelling in his right knee, Wiseman has been temporarily shut down, sources told The Athletic. He didn't practice with the Warriors the past two days and won't play for the Santa Cruz Warriors in a fourth G League game on Sunday, as initially planned.
There hasn't yet been an official determination on Wiseman's status for the rest of the season, but the clock is ticking. The Warriors only have 12 games left and there had been an expectation that Wiseman — particularly in the four remaining back-to-backs — would return in time to get some valuable developmental reps before the playoffs.
That possibility is becoming more unlikely. Wiseman had surgery for a torn meniscus last April. This has been a tricky 11-month recovery. Swelling slowed his progress in December and forced a second procedure, this one a scope to clean up some loose bodies.
Wiseman finally did advance to contact on Feb. 8. His body responded well. He spent the past month in increasingly strenuous scrimmages and eventually was cleared for G League games. This was a huge milestone. Wiseman played 21, 20 and 21 minutes in three Santa Cruz games the past week. A fourth game was set for Sunday with an NBA return expected to soon follow.
That's been halted, for now. This is another bit of adversity for a young player who has struggled to get his promising NBA career off the runway. Wiseman only played 39 games as a rookie before the meniscus tear. He has never participated in a summer league or training camp. Steve Kerr and the Warriors continue to express how great they believe Wiseman will become, but stress the need for playing experience for that upside to become a reality. The growth process can't rev up until he's on the court consistently.
While the Golden State Warriors are known for playing a small-ball style of basketball, there have been times this season where their lack of size and rebounding showed. James Wiseman could have helped with those issues, but they will have to make do with Kevon Looney being the only true center on the roster.
There are people who believe that James Wiseman can become an All-Star for the Warriors, but to do that he has to get healthy and play NBA basketball. Hopefully, we see James Wiseman realize his potential, and get fully healthy in the future.