There are few NBA players who can compare to James Wiseman's combination of size, length and athleticism, and it's not out of the question that the Warriors' 2020 first-round pick could be a Defensive Player of the Year at some point down the line. Immediately upon entering the NBA, he'll be under the tutelage of someone who knows what it takes to earn that specific accolade.
Draymond Green has never had the benefit of Wiseman's physical attributes, but he still found a way to establish himself as one of the best defenders in the league, winning Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2016-17. And beyond being an individual defensive standout, Green was the quarterback of the Warriors' defense throughout their recent dynasty.
Though the Warriors always were an offensive juggernaut over those years of dominance, they typically were tremendous defensively, too. If they're going to get back to those levels in the near future, Wiseman's development will be crucial, and Green surely will play a major role within it.
In many ways, Wiseman couldn't ask for a better teacher. But the rookie shouldn't expect to be coddled. That's just not how Green works. Not at all.
"James, you've got to understand when he yells at you or Nico, he still loves you," Warriors general manager Bob Myers told Wiseman at his introductory press conference on Thursday. "He wants to win so bad. Don't take it personally. He's yelled at me. I don't think he's yelled at Joe [Lacob]. He's yelled at Steve [Kerr] for sure. He's yelled at all our teammates. Yelled at Steph [Curry]. May have yelled at the media. That's just who he is. But he wins. So if you want to learn anything from that guy, he's a winner."
More than anything, Green's competitive fire is responsible for his ascendancy from being a second-round pick to a three-time All-Star and one of the best defenders in the game.
Wiseman surely will be exposed to it early and often, but to live up to his potential, he'll have to absorb some of it, too.