Lacob: Warriors selecting Wiseman was unanimous decision originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors are still high on James Wiseman.
Warriors CEO Joe Lacob spoke with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami and shared that drafting Wiseman No. 2 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft was a group decision, despite the 21-year-old's current struggles.
"But I want to correct something for you and our fans; our entire front office and head coach wanted to draft James Wiseman," Lacob told Kawakami on the Jan. 5 episode of "The TK Show." "We were universal in that regard. I know people like to make up stuff, we all loved him."
"And I think we all are still very high on him."
Lacob added that he believes Wiseman has had a lot of bad luck early in his NBA career. However, despite the injuries, the Warriors' CEO believes in Wiseman's ability and his "immense" talent, despite being on a team with championship aspirations.
"I do think he's very, very talented," Lacob said. "He's also in an organization and on a team which is trying to win championships, it's different than if you're playing somewhere where they're just throwing everybody out there.
With Warriors coach Steve Kerr more akin to playing veterans, Lacob understands that playing Wiseman and winning as many games as possible is a delicate balance.
"So there's a lot of nuance to this -- obviously, he has to start playing well and start playing better," Lacob continued.
As Lacob ponders how Golden State will balance playing Wiseman and allowing him to develop while competing for championships, the Warriors' front office also will have to worry about the team's financial situation.
In the end, Lacob still has faith in the third-year pro.
"So, I think there's a lot of ways this thing can go, but as of right now, I'm still very, very positive of the young man and in fact, all of our young players," Lacob reiterated. "And I think we have a great roster, too."
Lacob's faith in Wiseman should reassure a part of Dubs Nation that might have soured on the former No. 2 overall pick.
While Wiseman's struggles in the 2022-23 NBA season have been well-documented, the fact that Lacob, Kerr and the rest of the Warriors' front office are so confident in the 21-year-old's ability to improve should be a good sign.
Currently, Wiseman is out after spraining his ankle during a 3-on-3 before Golden State's game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 30.
And though he is missing games, the faith that Lacob and the rest of the Warriors have in him should push Wiseman to elevate his game to the next level.