The NBA announced their 2020-21 Rising Stars rosters Wednesday, and while there won't be an official game this year, that hasn't stopped Mychal Mulder from envisioning a possible Warriors' showdown between Team USA and Team World.
Mulder will represent Canada on Team World while rookie phenom James Wiseman was selected to the USA team. When asked how he felt about a one-on-one showdown with Wiseman, Mulder was all in, but he did have one rule for the 19-year-old.
"I’d do one-on-one for sure, but no post moves," Mulder said Wednesday in a video conference with reporters. "He’s gotta play out on the perimeter like us."
Safe to say, Mulder would have a tough time getting Wiseman to agree. Throughout the first half of the season, Wiseman has shown exactly why Golden State elected to snag the big man with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 Draft. Through 24 games, Wiseman is averaging 12 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per contest. He has also demonstrated an innate ability to pick up knowledge quickly, and even when he missed two weeks with a sprained wrist, the Warriors were encouraged by the amount of information he was able to retain on the bench.
Mulder on the other hand was a bit of a surprise pick for Team World, but the 26-year-old used a strong first-half performance to solidify himself as a staple in the Warriors' lineup, so much so that Golden State ended up guaranteeing the guard's contract in full. He is averaging just 4.2 points per game, but has proven he can perform in his limited minutes.
"[Mulder is] just a great human, great teammate," coach Steve Kerr said in February. "Anybody who stays ready and produces when you call on him, and stays professional and supportive and energetic when they’re not playing, those guys are big assets to a team."
Wiseman will join a stacked USA team featuring NBA Rookie of the Year frontrunner LaMelo Ball, along with No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards and two-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month winner Tyrese Haliburton. Precious Achiuwa, RJ Barrett and Luguentz Dort headline Team World.
There will no game between the two squads this year, as NBA All-Star festivities will be limited to just one night for COVID-19 precautions. However, the selection remains something Mulder won't take for granted.
"It's an honor to be able to represent where I'm from every day," Mulder said. "It's been a crazy year for me to think about where I was a year ago and where I am now. It gets me hyped because I know there's so much more room for growth. There's so many more days, so much more opportunity in front us. ... It's an honor to be able to represent where I'm from and be with that group."
Who knows, since they won't be able to face off against each other in the game, maybe Mulder and Wiseman will still duke it out one-on-one.
We're willing to bet Wiseman won't bite on Mulder's requirement, though.