When rookie James Wiseman has been on the court for the Warriors, the 2020 No. 2 overall pick has been remarkably effective, showcasing a versatile skillset while still displaying signs of his youth and inexperience relative to other players, including his fellow rookies, many of whom put dozens of more college games under their belt than the 19-year-old Wiseman.
He missed most of Warriors training camp after an illness and recently was out for 11 games with a wrist injury, but as his numbers per 36 minutes indicate, Wiseman has taken full advantage of his time on the court in his first NBA season.
Wiseman has averaged 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per 36 minutes this season, and as NBC Sports Bay Area's Brian Witt pointed out, that compares pretty favorably with some of the NBA's top big men this season.
"Big Jim," as Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald calls him, averages 20.6 minutes per game, significantly fewer than the three players Witt mentioned above. Sabonis is playing over 36 minutes a night, while Davis and Towns have averaged a shade over 32 minutes per game.
Sample size has to be taken into consideration with Wiseman, but his numbers certainly match up comparably with those three, all of whom are All-Star caliber players.
When you put him up against DeAndre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns, the only other true center to be selected in the top five of the past five drafts, Wiseman again lines up pretty evenly with the 22-year-old, who now is in his third year in the league.
So what does all of this mean?
When Wiseman has been on the court, he has been a solid all-around contributor on offense, scoring in a variety of ways and showing a strong 3-point shot. He has had an issue with racking up fouls at a swift rate, but he's also been able to protect the rim well and demonstrated great mobility in defending inside the paint.
There assuredly are parts of his game that can be cleaned up, but no player can be expected to be a finished product in his rookie season, especially not one who was limited to just three college games and essentially no true training camp.
If Wiseman can maintain this production as the Warriors gradually ramp up his minutes and he gets his feet underneath him in the NBA, he will be in great shape as his efficiency and talent already have him amongst some of the game's best.
We aren't even close to seeing peak Wiseman in the Warriors' scheme, and his potential should have fans and those within the organization alike feeling more than optimistic about the coming years for this team.