Second-year center James Wiseman didn’t play at all for the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors this season due to a right knee injury, but his return to action is approaching. Following a plasma-rich injection in April, Wiseman is getting close to clearance for full contact, and as a result there’s optimism within the organization that he could return to action in Summer League in July, according to Shams Charania and Anthony Slater.
The Warriors selected Wiseman with the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and though he has been hampered by injury issues early on, he’s also flashed some real potential when he’s been out on the floor. As a rookie, Wiseman appeared in 39 games and averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 21.4 minutes of action per performance.
From The Athletic:
Wiseman has gradually progressed in the couple months since. In recent weeks, he has increased his court activity and is now sprinting for pain-free stretches. Wiseman is nearing clearance for full-contact workouts, and he and the Warriors are now optimistic he could return to action during NBA Summer League in July, sources told The Athletic. It’s been both sides’ goal for Wiseman to play in Summer League. A final determination on Wiseman’s status is expected to come in the next two weeks, sources said.
The Warriors will host the California Classic on July 2 and 3 at Chase Center, facing the Summer League Kings and Lakers, before heading to Las Vegas for the larger league-wide event. Wiseman’s potential inclusion will be the Warriors’ most substantial storyline.
Wiseman’s return obviously isn’t going to help the Warriors during their current NBA Finals matchup against the Boston Celtics, but his progress is still promising for Golden State, as his return could potentially help to fortify its frontcourt for the future. The Warriors have done a solid job of keeping their current core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, while also adding several intriguing young pieces like Jordan Poole, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga and Wiseman.
Given how high they selected him in the draft, the Warriors clearly have a lot invested in Wiseman. Right now, the top priority for the organization is to try to complete the job and win their fourth ring in the last eight years. Once the current campaign ends, though, all eyes will turn to Wiseman, and how he’ll potentially fit with the team moving forward.