The Warriors made the selection hours after news broke that All-NBA guard Klay Thompson suffered a leg injury during a workout Wednesday. The Warriors acknowledged the injury, but the extent remains unclear.
The selection of Wiseman indicates that the Warriors did not consider Thompson’s injury in making the pick. LaMelo Ball — the top backcourt prospect in the draft — was also available when Golden State drafted. The Charlotte Hornets selected Ball at No. 3.
What James Wiseman brings to Golden State
Wiseman, an athletic 7-foot-1 center, provides the Warriors a post presence who can protect the rim on defense and run and stretch the floor on offense.
Wiseman joined Memphis as a freshman last season as one of the nation’s top prospects. He played just three games for Penny Hardaway’s Tigers amid conflict with the NCAA over his recruitment and eligibility. He left the program in December to focus on preparing for the draft.
He was a force in his brief stint with Memphis, averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and three blocked shots while shooting 76.9 percent from the floor. He’s a natural fit on a Warriors roster without an established post player.
Details on Klay Thompson injury
Thompson reportedly couldn’t put weight on his injured leg as he left a Southern California gym Wednesday. The injury is reportedly to his left leg — not the right leg that he suffered an ACL tear in during the 2019 NBA Finals and forced him to miss all of last season.
ESPN’s Marc Spears cited a source with knowledge of the injury describing it as “not good.”
Thompson is reportedly scheduled for tests on the injury in “the next few days.” The Warriors promised status updates “as appropriate.”
Coming off five straight trips to the NBA Finals, the Warriors were ravaged by injuries last season and posted the worst record in the NBA. With Stephen Curry and Thompson previously expected to return healthy, the Warriors were expected again to compete for an NBA championship next season.
Wiseman should provide a significant upgrade in the post regardless of Thompson’s status.
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