Friday, September 29, 2023

Warriors center James Wiseman recalled from G League games as injury return looms

Earlier this month, Golden State Warriors big man James Wiseman was assigned to the franchise’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz in order to continue his rehab. Now, after he appeared in three games, and averaged 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds, the Warriors are recalling Wiseman, the team announced on Wednesday. 

Wiseman will not play on Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics, and there is still no definitive date for his season debut. It could come as soon as Sunday versus the San Antonio Spurs, however. That’s the next time the Warriors will be in action, and the mini-break in the schedule will give Wiseman a chance to practice with the team throughout the week. 

The second-year big man played in just 39 games last season and has been out with a torn meniscus since last April. Getting him back on the floor after all that time out is a significant positive, though it should be noted that the former No. 2 overall pick will have a very short time to fight for regular minutes. 

The playoffs are a mere month away, and center minutes in Golden State are going to be sparse when they arrive. Draymond Green, who returned from a back injury earlier this week, typically plays significant minutes at center in the postseason. The minutes he doesn’t play will likely be absorbed by current starter Kevon Looney

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Still, getting Wiseman back on the floor and re-engaged in the regular season will be important for depth purposes. Green is on a minutes restriction for the next few weeks, and the Warriors won’t want to overstrain him, so having extra size available down the stretch will be helpful.

But given their immediate championship upside, Wiseman is far likelier to earn a bigger role on next season’s roster. Looney will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so if Wiseman can prove in whatever regular-season minutes he gets this year that he is ready to replace him, he could position himself for significant playing time next season.

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