Warriors' Steve Kerr Says James Wiseman Can Follow 'Same Path' as Deandre Ayton

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 15, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 12:  Head coach Steve Kerr speaks to James Wiseman #33 of the Golden State Warriors after he picked up his fourth foul in their game against the Indiana Pacers in the second period at Chase Center on January 12, 2021 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Following an up-and-down rookie season for the young center, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is optimistic about where James Wiseman can go in his development.

"I've been talking with James," Kerr said on 97.5 The Game's Damon, Ratto & Kolsky. "...I'm so inspired by what Deandre Ayton is doing. There's no reason why he can't follow that same path."

Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 39 games this season before he underwent surgery for a right meniscus injury. In general, the 20-year-old had a tough go of it but undoubtedly showed promise.

More than anything, Kerr's comments seem to indicate Wiseman remains a part of Golden State's future.

The Athletic's Anthony Slater included Wiseman in a hypothetical trade for Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. Were Golden State to pursue Lillard or another marquee name, the 7-footer would presumably be going in the other direction because he's one of the team's better trade assets.

Rather than using him to land a bigger fish, the Warriors could be content instead to hold onto Wiseman and hope he blossoms into an Ayton-like presence inside.