James Wiseman's rookie year didn't go as planned.
After playing in just three games at Memphis and having no Summer League due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Warriors rookie showed flashes of his potential but largely struggled before his season ended due to a torn meniscus in his right knee.
While other top rookies LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards shined immediately, it will take Wiseman some time to become the player he is capable of being. But Memphis coach and NBA legend Penny Hardaway believes Wiseman's ceiling remains in the stratosphere.
"His ceiling is high, man," Hardaway told NBC Sports Bay Area's Dorell Wright and Chris Mullin in an interview that aired Friday on "Warriors Pregame Live."
"I'm looking at Chris Bosh. Chris Bosh is a Hall of Famer. But I'm looking at that level because he needs to get back to doing some of the things he was doing at Memphis that he got away from, that I saw him kind of struggling with during the season. But then, as soon as he starts to hit his stride and starts doing better he gets injured. So, yeah, his ceiling is very high."
That's a high bar to set for a 20-year-old center who has played just 42 games since graduating from high school.
Bosh starred for seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors before joining LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat and reinventing himself as a floor-spacing, small-ball center. In his career, Bosh averaged 19.2 points per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from 3-point range. He was an integral member to the Big Three Heat teams that went to four straight NBA Finals and won two titles.
If Wiseman can indeed measure up to the career Bosh put together, the Warriors will have nailed the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
In 39 games for the Warriors this season, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the field.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has been preaching patience with Wiseman since Day 1, but he is sure the young 7-footer will reach that potential. It just might take some time.
"I have no doubt James is going to make a huge impact in this league," Kerr said before the Warriors played the Utah Jazz on May 10. "He's gonna be a helluva player, but it takes time and you can't rush that process, unfortunately.
"It just has to happen on its own time, so he'll get there, but we'll just have to keep working with him. The good thing is he's a great student, and he's a hard worker and got a great approach. I have great belief in James."
The Warriors have no doubt that Wiseman still can be great, but the question is whether or not his development will line up with the remaining years of Steph Curry's prime. Golden State would love to be able to simultaneously contend for titles with Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green while building their next dynasty around Wiseman.
Hardaway believes Wiseman can be great and fit the Warriors' timeline. He plans to work with his former player once Wiseman is fully healthy this summer to set him up for a big sophomore-year leap and get him on track to reach that Bosh-level ceiling.