Warriors Rumors: James Wiseman's Development 'Not Aligning' with Team's Title Hopes

Erin WalshJanuary 20, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 11: James Wiseman warms up before NBA preseason game between Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers at the Chase Center on October 11, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors big man James Wiseman had high expectations entering the NBA after being selected second overall in the 2020 draft, but he hasn't lived up to the hype thus far, and now the Dubs are considering moving him ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

According to Ric Bucher of Fox Sports, the Warriors "have indicated in conversations with other teams that the development of third-year center James Wiseman is not aligning with their hopes of squeezing another championship from the core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green."

An Eastern Conference general manager also told Bucher that the team's willingness to trade Wiseman is two-fold because "he isn't ready to help them win a title, and they feel they're doing him a disservice because he needs playing time to develop."

The Warriors have won four NBA titles with their core of Curry, Thompson and Green, but as all three players get older, the club realizes that its title window will begin to close in the near future.

Wiseman had a solid rookie season in 2020-21, averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 39 games while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor. However, he missed the entire 2021-22 season with a knee injury, and it appears to have significantly impacted his development.

The 21-year-old has appeared in just 19 games for the Dubs this season and is averaging 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 60.9 percent from the floor in 12.7 minutes per game. Additionally, he has been sidelined the last eight games with an ankle injury.

Wiseman has also been buried on the depth chart behind Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and JaMychal Green, which is a big reason he has seen a lack of playing time when healthy.

While Wiseman is a potential trade candidate, though, The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported on Jan. 19 that interested teams hoping to get the big man on a bargain could be out of luck as the Warriors aren't in "sell-low mode."

Additionally, Slater reported that Wiseman, in addition to Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, "remain likely to be with the Warriors beyond the deadline" and that the team isn't actively shopping any of those players.

Since winning the 2022 NBA title, the Warriors have struggled this season and currently sit ninth in the Western Conference with a 22-23 record. If they don't trade Wiseman, it'll be interesting to see which assets they can add at the deadline for a push for the playoffs.