Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers had nothing bad to say about James Wiseman on Monday, just days after he dealt the former No. 2 overall pick away to the Detroit Pistons in what ended up being a dramatic, drawn-out deal.
But after three seasons where he’s played in just 60 total games while dealing with injuries, it was just time for the Warriors to move on.
“I think we debated it pretty heavily, mostly because I still believe he can be a good player,” Myers said, via KNBR. “It may just be that his path required more minutes than we were able to give him. It may be that his [timeline] is longer than we can wait.”
The Warriors sent Wiseman to the Detroit Pistons in a four-team deal that included the Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks. In return, Golden State received Gary Payton II from the Trail Blazers.
Wiseman sustained a season-ending meniscus tear in his right knee just 39 games into his rookie season, and then missed all of last season recovering after dealing with numerous setbacks.
Wiseman has played in 21 games this season, but averaged just 6.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 12.5 minutes off the bench.
Wiseman will now get a chance to live up to his potential with the Detroit Pistons — something Myers thinks should work out well for him. If nothing else, Myers said, he’ll get a lot more opportunities there to get back to his old self.
Bob Myers wishes nothing but the best for James Wiseman in Detroit 🤝 pic.twitter.com/fDeL8foiOA
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 13, 2023
“One of the reasons we drafted him is because of who he is,” Myers said, via NBC Sports. “He is a great kid, and did everything we asked him to do … It was a tough thing to do to move someone that we liked that much as a person. I know it’s a business, but it goes beyond that as far as on the court, off the court stuff. That was a challenge, but I hope he does well. I hope he gets an opportunity to play, and I think he will, more than he was getting with us.”
Gary Payton II out at least a month after trade
Myers didn’t get into too much detail regarding their deal to land Payton — something that stretched right up until the deadline after an issue with a physical and Payton’s core muscle injury.
Payton, however, will be out for at least a month, if not longer.
“It was our determination he’s not ready to play right now,” Myers said, via KNBR. “But when we hopefully do get him back at some point, the goal would be pre-playoffs. That would be the hope, but until we get a sense of how the rehab process is going, I can’t really speculate.”
Payton had abdominal surgery last offseason and missed the first 35 games of the season. He’s played in 15 games with the Trail Blazers, and averaged 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in 17 minutes per game. He spent the past two seasons with Golden State, but signed a three-year, $26 million deal with Portland last summer.
Payton then failed a physical with the Warriors after the trade, something the league is now investigating. The Trail Blazers reportedly “pushed” Payton to play through his injury this season and gave him “Toradol shots,” something his agent has denied.
As for the investigation into the trade, Myers didn’t reveal too much.
“What do I want? Whatever the NBA says is fair,” he said, via NBC Sports’ Kerith Burke.