Warriors

Wiseman marvels at 'monster' Klay's competitiveness

Warriors
Klay Thompson

James Wiseman, just like everyone else, is anxiously awaiting the return of Klay Thompson.

The Warriors young center had an up-and-down rookie season that saw the 20-year-old show flashes of his tremendous potential and his youthful inexperience. Playing alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green has a steep learning curve, one that Wiseman still is learning to navigate.

That curve could get even steeper next season when Thompson returns, but Wiseman is champing at the bit to play alongside the other Splash Brother.

"Man, Klay is a competitor. The dude's mentality is on a whole nother level," Wiseman told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. "Klay is a great guy off the court, but he is also just like a monster on the court. Like his mentality is just different. So, Klay is just a great player, he is going to come back stronger, and I just can't wait to play with Klay. It's going to be fun."

While much has been made of Wiseman being on a different timeline than Curry, Thompson and Green, the Memphis product is ready to finally share the court with the core that has brought three titles back to the Bay and plans to return to championship contention.

"Man, I see a lot," Wiseman told Poole when asked what he sees when he visualizes playing alongside the core. "I see a lot of patterns. It's going to be a lot of spacing for me next year, as well, so it's going to be really fun for me. Plus, the game is going to be easier for me, having those guys out there on the floor."

 
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In his rookie season, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 39 games while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from 3-point range. Wiseman had his season interrupted multiple times as he had to miss games due to a sprained left wrist and COVID-19 protocols before his season ultimately was cut short due to a meniscus injury.

Despite a turbulent first season, the Warriors remain confident that Wiseman can reach his lofty potential and that he is an integral part of the plan to help Curry, Thompson and Green return to title contention status.

Thompson's return is the biggest piece of the Warriors' offseason puzzle. While he likely won't be back on Opening Night, the hope is that his eventual return can cover up some of the glaring issues the Warriors faced on both ends of the floor this past season.

However, Wiseman's continued development isn't far behind. Young big men typically take longer to develop at the NBA level, so more growing pains should be expected for Wiseman.

But those, hopefully, should be fewer and farther between with Thompson, Curry and Green all sharing the court with the player the Warriors hope can take the torch from them when the time is right.

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