The Golden State Warriors will send James Wiseman, the former No. 2 overall pick to the G League, and it’s the right call for both sides.
Even though the Warriors just won a championship last season, as my colleague Mike Sykes recently wrote, the “two timelines” conundrum of developing their young talent while also contending for a title was always complicated. No one experienced those complications more than Wiseman.
Golden State was outscored by 24.4 points per 100 possessions when Wiseman was on the floor, which was the worst mark of anyone who is averaging more than 12.0 minutes per game. It was time for a change, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Jordan Poole on James Wiseman going to the G-League (which Poole once did): “I told him it’s not a demotion. It’s not a punishment. He’s going to go down there and shoot as many shots as he wants, get as many touches as he wants, work on as many moves as he wants.” pic.twitter.com/ISivLSigjn
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 15, 2022
According to Poole, playing in the G League is not a demotion and it’s not a punishment.
Wiseman can shoot as many shots as he wants, get as many touches as he wants, and work on whatever moves he may want to try. He can hang on the rim, get technicals, and play freely.
Poole added that he is confident in Wiseman because the big man is talented, curious, hungry, gifted, and humble.
Jordan Poole says he has the upmost confidence in Wiseman: "He's talented, he's curious, he's hungry, he's gifted, he's humble and has all the pieces you need to be successful."
— Madeline Kenney (@madkenney) November 15, 2022
When including passes, Poole averaged 4.4 possessions per game as the ball-handler in pick-and-roll sets during his rookie campaign in 2019-20. But that rate increased to 7.8 possessions per game when he played for Santa Cruz in 2020-21.
Those experiences were valuable and last season, and when he returned to the NBA last season, Poole averaged 7.4 possessions per game handling ball screens. This season, that rate has spiked (7.6) once more.
Wiseman is talented, and before the season began, we predicted he would be one of the league’s 23 best players under 23 years old. He still has plenty of time to develop; Wiseman is younger than Sacramento Kings rookie Keegan Murray.
The big man, who played three games in college and has played just one in the G League, is expected to spend extended time with Santa Cruz. It will be far more beneficial for him than collecting “DNP – Coach’s Decision” on box scores.
Just ask Poole, who parlayed his experience in the G League into a four-year, $140 million contract and an NBA championship with the Warriors.