Why James Wiseman has 'highest upside' with Warriors, per Kevin O'Connor

Dalton Johnson
·2 min read

Why KOC believes Wiseman's 'highest upside' is with Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Point guard? Check. Shooting guard? Check. Small forward? Check. Power forward? Check. Center? Well ... not exactly.

If the Warriors have one hole in their starting lineup, it clearly is at center. Might they find the answer with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft? The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor gave the Warriors Memphis center James Wiseman in his latest mock draft, and believes Wiseman's skills would shine brightest among the teams atop the draft. 

"On paper, Wiseman presents the highest upside for the Warriors and he fills their greatest need," O'Connor said Thursday in a video he tweeted. "The Warriors have Marquese Chriss and Kevon Looney in the books for next season, but nobody with Wiseman's upside.

"... The Warriors could simplify Wiseman's role to amplify his greatest strengths: Run the floor, screen, roll, finish, rebound, be active on defense ... all the basics."

Wiseman is a 7-foot-1 center who was the top high school recruit in the class of 2019. Thanks to gross NCAA rules, the long lefty played just three games as a freshman at Memphis. In those three games, he averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. But two of those three games came against South Carolina State and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

There's no doubt Wiseman, 19, fits a positional need for the Warriors and can do everything that players like JaVale McGee did for the Warriors when they were at their best. He also has much more upside than any center the Warriors have had in years.

Wiseman also comes with his faults. 

Teams have been worried about Wiseman's lack of hustle, care on the defensive end and not being able to read defenses at a high level. He isn't the passer or decision maker that players like David West or Andrew Bogut were for the Warriors. But perhaps one day he could be. 

The best thing for Wiseman is that he would be surrounded by Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins. In this scenario, he wouldn't have the weight of the world on his shoulders. He could just do his job and develop. 

RELATED: Ranking Warriors' seven best options with No. 2 pick

"There'd be no pressure for Wiseman to come in right away and be the savior," O'Connor said. 

Throughout the draft process, the Warriors have been a mystery. It's easy to see why Wiseman fits their needs, and he soon could be their man on Nov. 18. 

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