The first six weeks of the Warriors' 2020-21 NBA season has been full of highs and lows, ups and downs. However, one thing is for certain: Golden State sure is happy the Minnesota Timberwolves didn't select James Wiseman with the top pick in the draft.
Wiseman has been far from perfect, just like any 19-year-old. With his size (7-foot-1), skills and athleticism, he has shown flashes of greatness. It's easy to see him becoming a star in the blink of an eye. ESPN's NBA experts agree.
Golden State's young center was voted as the rookie who will be the best player in five years by a panel of ESPN writers, analysts and editors. Wiseman received 53.8 percent of the votes. LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets came in second with 26.9 percent, and Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton was third at 19.2.
Wiseman has started 16 of the Warriors' first 20 games this season. He's averaging 12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. The Memphis product also is shooting 50 percent from the field, and the big lefty is nailing 40.9 percent of his 3-point shots.
Now, let's look at Wiseman stats per 36 minutes: 20.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. Those are off the charts.
Wiseman is prone to fouls and shooting deep 2s, but that will change with time. His talent is clear. This is a 7-footer can run the floor, throw down lobs and step back for 3s. That's not normal, especially for a 19-year-old who only played three games in college.
The Warriors will continue to challenge Wiseman throughout his rookie year. They'll also continue counting their blessing he fell to them in the draft.