Warriors

Wiseman will be Warriors' starting center in debut vs. Nets

Warriors

The Warriors have seen all they need to from James Wiseman.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has impressed in training camp and will be the Warriors' starting center in Tuesday night's season opener against the Brooklyn Nets, coach Steve Kerr confirmed to reporters.

The Athletic's Anthony Slater first reported the news Tuesday morning, citing sources.

Wiseman missed the first week of training camp, but Kerr recently said it was apparent after two scrimmages that the rookie was the Warriors' future at center.

"James is going to be our starting center before too long," Kerr said after Wiseman's first full-team scrimmage. "It might happen Tuesday. But clearly, he is our long-term starting center, and when we feel he's ready for that, then we will put him out there, and then it's a matter of minutes and how long he can play.

"For me as a coach and my staff, it's let's give him the experience of seeing the different pictures that are going to be in front of him. Every NBA game for a young player is filled with these snapshots that go a million miles an hour, and then as you play, those snapshots slow down quite a bit because you recognize the pattern that's in that snapshot. Our job is to help him recognize those patterns, realize his responsibilities in those patterns and get him comfortable executing, and we'll do it one step at a time."

 
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Wiseman will start alongside Steph Curry, Andre Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Eric Paschall. Draymond Green will not play because of a mild foot injury.

Kerr has tried his best to temper expectations for Wiseman, but it's clear the Warriors are giddy about their rookie center.

"I think one of the most exciting things for us about James is his intelligence, his willingness to learn and his ability to absorb lessons," Kerr said. "So, from three days ago to now, the game looked smoother. His game looked smoother to me. He recognized patterns, he understood what we were trying to accomplish, and even though there was a ton of energy, there was less wild energy like there was the first day. There was more of an awareness of what was happening.

"As I said, we're excited about his talent. But to go with that, we're excited about his maturity, his work ethic and his desire to learn.

"So, it's very exciting for all of us. It should be exciting for our fans, but I will again reiterate: It's one thing to scrimmage, and it's another thing to be out on the floor against Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets. We have to temper our expectations and bring him along at a pace that will allow him to develop well."

Welcome to the show, James Wiseman. Time to see what you can do.

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