Friday, August 5, 2022

Teams Still Interested in Former Warriors Lottery Pick: Report

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After winning last season’s title, the Golden State Warriors will look to defend their title next season. Key reservists such as Gary Payton II and Otto Porter left Portland and Toronto respectively for larger paydays. Both players will be greatly missed as they were key figures in helping the Warriors win playoff games en route to their title.

Though many of their key reserves have left the Bay Area for bigger paydays, the core of the starting rotation remains intact. The young Warriors players will return, counting on them to take the next step and contribute to the rotation. Ownership and front office trust this young core to be the next generation of warriors to keep them relevant.

Last season, the Warriors refused to trade their young players to bolster their playoff rotation. The Brass were confident they could still be in contention for the title if they got healthy while keeping the youngsters close so they could build on the playoff experience. Fast forward to now, it looks like all of that has paid off.

The Warriors’ second overall pick of 2020, James Wiseman, has missed over an entire season and seen his stock fall to an all-time low. After a strong showing this past Summer League, Wiseman wants to get back on track and be a key member of the rotation moving forward.

Not surprisingly, other teams have tried to pounce on Wiseman and take advantage of it. According to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney, sources tell him teams continue to express interest in the big man. The warriors have ceased all investigation.

Many teams would love to take a chance on such a talented young big at the former Memphis Center. Now it’s time to try and take Wiseman’s value so far from where he was when he was drafted.

During a chat with Deveney and Steve Bulpett, the longtime insider shared sentiments similar to what many in the Warriors organization are likely thinking.

“The only issue I have with him is health,” says Bulpet. “You’re confident he’s fine and I wouldn’t let anyone closer than five miles to him, you know? If someone calls and says they’re interested in Ja— I hang up. Don’t even bring out the full name. This guy can be a beast. Big body, good movement, good touch, all those things. He has the chance to become a really great player. They went through their bad luck to get a guy like this, which they never would have gotten. If you look at Golden State and say, OK, what hole do they have in their lineup there? Well, they don’t have the dominant big guy type. It could be this guy.”

Unlike lottery teams, the Warriors won’t put much pressure on Big Wise to excel. All he’s asked to do is set up screens, block shots, and finish around the edge.

Wiseman has played in four straight games to finish the Summer League and that was his longest playing streak since his rookie year when he played ten straight games in March 2021. The talent is there, but to improve as a player, Wiseman needs to get more repetitions on the court so he can expand his game.

Heavy lifting is handled by future Hall of Famers Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, so the big man’s development may be a bit slower. If Wiseman can get through most of the next season’s games without major injuries, that will be counted as a success and his value restored.

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