James Wiseman's development will be one of the main storylines for the Warriors in the 2020-21 season, and the No. 2 overall draft pick got off to a strong start in his NBA debut, going for 19 points and six rebounds in the opening-night loss to the Brooklyn Nets. He followed that up with 18 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
The 7-foot-1 Wiseman came into camp late, but has drawn plenty of praise from his teammates and coaches, including fellow center Kevon Looney, who likely has worked extensively with and against Wiseman so far in his NBA career.
"He has great upside, his athleticism, his size is something that you can see as soon as he steps on the court," Looney told NBC Sports Bay Area's Grant Liffmann on the "Dubs Talk" podcast. "But he also has a pretty good feel for the game, and I think he's a great fit for our team."
Wiseman's abbreviated training camp, after an already abbreviated offseason, has limited his opportunities to practice and get work in alongside his new teammates. Looney, who has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his NBA career, understands Wiseman's situation, and knows it will take time for him to fully mesh with his new team on the court.
"It's gonna take a while to get some of that experience, I know how that feels not to be able to play for a long time and then just go out there and try to go at game speed, it's probably going to be a bit of a learning curve, but as far as talent and size and his feel, it's great, he has a lot of potential.
"He has a lot of guys to learn from, I think Draymond and Steph are going to make the game easy for him, and I think he's going to have a great year."
While Wiseman got the start in Tuesday's opener and logged just over 24 minutes, Looney finished with four points and two rebounds in 11 minutes.
As the season wears on, players like Looney and center Marquese Chriss, who has had his own unique journey through the NBA, will be vital players for Wiseman to learn from as he navigates his rookie campaign.
Expectations are high for Wiseman, as the big man began the season with the third-best odds at winning Rookie of the Year (+500) per PointsBet.
If Looney's praise is any indication, Wiseman might be well on his way to fulfilling, or even surpassing those lofty expectations.