As Klay Thompson's return nears, James Wiseman continues to be confined to individual work. His season debut for the Warriors likely won't occur until 2022.
Thompson and Wiseman have spent a lot of time together over the past eight months as they work to get back on the court for the Warriors. Wiseman and Thompson watched playoff games together and "bonded" on the star shooting guard's boat.
With Wiseman's rehab moving along slowly, Thompson gave Wiseman some advice, knowing the young big man is champing at the bit to get back.
“Just be patient,” Wiseman told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami. “Just make sure you come back 100 percent and don’t rush it.”
The Warriors still have big plans for Wiseman, believing he will develop into one of the best centers in the NBA and be a foundational pillar of the next era of Warriors basketball along with Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
As such, the Warriors are taking the cautious route with Wiseman's meniscus rehab, which can take up to nine months to fully heal.
"I wouldn't necessarily say that," coach Steve Kerr said Tuesday when asked if the mental part of the return would be harder than the physical for Wiseman. "He is going through the physical part every day and it's not easy. I'm really proud of James for maintaining his poise and his work ethic and just continuing to come in every day and get his work in and keep his chin up.
"But it's all tied together. He is getting closer and we're all excited to see him on the court doing more. Really, big picture-wise, he has got his whole career ahead of him and we just want to help him feel good and get this season off to a good start for him."
The Warriors know Wiseman has a bright future and believe he'll have a long career as an NBA star. Meniscus injuries are tricky and the rehab usually isn't linear.
Golden State is 21-4 and knows Thompson's return is right around the corner. They'll be as patient with Wiseman as they need to, knowing that whatever the 7-footer gives them this year is icing on what could be a championship cake.