Warriors' James Wiseman ruled out for season after knee surgery

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Ali Thanawalla
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Warriors rule Wiseman out for season after knee surgery originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

James Wiseman's rookie season is over.

The Warriors announced Thursday that the 2020 No. 2 overall draft pick underwent successful surgery to repair his torn right meniscus, but that he will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 NBA season.

The team expects Wiseman to be ready for the 2021-22 NBA season but won't provide another update on his progress until September.

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The surgery on the 7-foot center took place at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles on Thursday and was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

When Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke to the media 90 minutes before the team's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, he said he had spoken to Wiseman since the surgery and that the rookie was "doing well."

Wiseman sustained the injury on a dunk attempt against the Houston Rockets last Saturday. Kenyon Martin Jr. blocked the shot and Wiseman landed awkwardly on his right leg.

Wiseman finishes the season having averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes over 39 games.

The Warriors have high hopes for Wiseman and they were expecting him to be a big part of their success this season and in future seasons. But he had trouble fitting into the offense and took his lumps on defense.

With the next update on Wiseman's status not coming for another four and a half months or five months, his participation in the NBA's summer league has been ruled out. That's a huge blow for the 20-year-old. He could have been valuable experience and reps playing in the summer league.

Without the summer league, the next time Wiseman will step on the court likely will be the Warriors' training camp, which typically starts in early October.

As for the Warriors, without Wiseman, they are extremely thin at center. Kevon Looney is the only true center on the roster, with Draymond Green also capable of handling heavy minutes at the position.

The Warriors are more than capable of winning games with a small-ball lineup, but they might not be able to win a seven-game playoff series against teams with All-Star centers like the Los Angeles Lakers (Anthony Davis and Andre Drummond), the Utah Jazz (Rudy Gobert) or the Denver Nuggets (Nikola Jokic).

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Before the Warriors' announcement on Wiseman, Kerr was asked by NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole if there's an urgency to sign a center.

"Well, it always depends on who you are talking about," Kerr said. "Adding size just for the sake of adding size doesn't accomplish anything, but if you can add a good player that can help you win a game, then it matters. I know our front office is in the process of examining all the possible options out there."

For now, the Warriors will have to trudge along and play the next 17 games (and possible playoff games) without Wiseman.

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