James Wiseman

NBA rumors: Warriors not high on James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball in draft

NBA rumors: Warriors not high on James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball in draft

The NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled to take place May 19.

The 2020 NBA Draft is slated for June 25.

But those two events could be pushed back months as everything is up in the air because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Warriors are all but guaranteed to land a top-five pick, and it's possible they end up with the No. 1 overall selection.

If you want Golden State to go with center James Wiseman or guard LaMelo Ball, you won't like the latest intel from Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:

According to multiple league sources The Chronicle contacted in the past few days, the Warriors — contrary to what mock drafts might suggest — aren’t believed to be high on two of the three players being mentioned as possibilities at the No. 1 pick: former Memphis center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League.

As one source put it, “I think they’d only take one of those two if they were trading down in the draft and taking them for another team.”

Wiseman -- who dealt with eligibility issues at Memphis -- appeared in just three games for the Tigers this season.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers reveals one aspect of plan for roster]

Ball -- the younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball -- appeared in 13 games for the Illwarra Hawks in Australia's National Basketball League, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals.

His season was cut short in late November because of a bone bruise in his foot.

Yours truly is not going to make any predictions on what the Warriors will do because it's too early in the process. There just are too many unknowns at this point.

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Steve Kerr explains what Warriors look for in NBA draft prospects

Steve Kerr explains what Warriors look for in NBA draft prospects

The Warriors aren't your typical NBA Draft Lottery team.

After five straight trips to the NBA Finals, the Dubs were forced to take a reset season this year due to injuries to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. As such, they entered the coronavirus hiatus with the worst record in the NBA and great odds at landing the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Names like James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball will intrigue Warriors fans, but what are Kerr and president of basketball operations Bob Myers looking for in the soon-to-be addition to the NBA's sleeping Goliath?

"Some guys it's easy to tell," Kerr told 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto and Kolsky" on Thursday. "So some guys it's easy to tell they are winners because they show it on their sleeve. They wear it on their sleeve. But you really have to dig in and do a lot of background work because some guys you can't really see it unless you talk to people who are directly involved with the team. That's why we have scouts and that's why we have people in our front office who are not only watching games but doing all kinds of background work on these guys because the person, the competitive side of things, and the human side of things is critical when you're trying to build a championship team."

Kerr has said the Warriors have narrowed their draft pool to between eight and 10 players. They'll be looking for someone who can help immediately in a supporting role and perhaps take the reins from Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green when they are past their primes.

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into the scouting process, as the Warriors must do their scouting through watching game film and phone interviews, not being able to bring players in for workouts or in-person interviews.

[RELATED: Toppin's offensive skills should intrigue Warriors]

While the global pandemic makes scouting harder to navigate, the Warriors have a clear idea of what they are looking for in their next addition. As with any quality organization, they prioritize culture and fit over talent.

NBA Draft 2020: James Wiseman fits Warriors' biggest need right now

NBA Draft 2020: James Wiseman fits Warriors' biggest need right now

Editor's note: As the Warriors prepare for the 2020 NBA draft, during which they will have a lottery pick for the first time since 2012, NBC Sports Bay Area will present a twice-weekly series spotlighting two players expected to be evaluated. This is the second of a 12-part series over the next six weeks.
The Warriors are narrowing their draft board to "eight or 10" prospects, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. In their search, no prospect has garnered more attention with little college output than top-five hopeful James Wiseman. 

In his abbreviated college career, Wiseman averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds, including a 14-point, 12-rebound performance against the Oregon Ducks.

Standing 7-foot tall and armed with a 7-4 wingspan, he's a versatile scorer who can spread the floor. Defensively, his length and athleticism can alter shots. His size also allows the big man to be a pick-and-roll weapon. Against South Carolina State, he showed his superior athleticism, routinely running the floor for easy dunks in a blowout win. 

However, the biggest concern hindering Wiseman is his lack of on-court time. He only played three games after withdrawing from Memphis amid recruiting violations.

While a prep star in Nashville, former NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway gave Wiseman's family $11,500 to move to Memphis in 2017. Though Hardaway wasn't a college coach at the time, he was deemed a college booster after donating $1 million to the school in 2008. Two years after the payment, Hardaway became Memphis' head coach and Wiseman followed soon after.

In December, the NCAA suspended Wiseman 12 games and ordered him to donate $11,500 to charity. Weeks later, he opted to leave school and prep for the draft. Since his departure, Wiseman has been training in Miami. 

[RELATED: Obi Toppin's offensive skills could intrigue Warriors]

Adding to his limited college experience, Wiseman's defensive intensity has been questioned. In his short time, he frequently was attacked by smaller guards in the pick-and-roll. he also has developed a habit of biting on pump fakes while missing defensive rotations. Offensively, he tends to settle for fadeaway jumpers early in the shot clock instead of letting the offense come to him.

Nonetheless, the 18-year-old has all the potential to integrate perfectly into Golden State's motion offense. Initially, he can occupy the pick-and-roll lob threat JaVale McGee once occupied. As his game develops, he can be a stretch big the Warriors haven't had in years. 

James Wiseman profile

Position: Center
Class: Freshman 
Birthdate: March 31, 2001 (18 years old)
Hometown: Nashville, Tenn. 
2019-20 season averages: 19.7 points (76.9 percent FG, 0 percent 3-point, 70.4 percent FT), 10.7 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 3.0 blocks.
Height: 7-foot
Weight: 240 pound
Wingspan: 7-4
What they’re saying: “When all is said and done, James Wiseman will be the No. 1 pick. Coached against David Robinson when he was a sophomore at Navy and there are similarities, on and off the court.” - Fran Fraschilla