James Wiseman and Kevin Garnett both had similar paths to the NBA. While Garnett went straight from high school to the NBA, Wiseman played just three games in college. Both players debuted at only 19 years old as raw big men with untapped potential, at nearly identical sizes.
It didn't come as a surprise that Warriors coach Steve Kerr picked Garnett as the one player he hopes Wiseman can sit down and learn from.
"I think KG is someone I've always admired and if I ever get the chance to connect the two of them, I would do that," Kerr said Sunday to reporters. "KG was one of the best defensive players in the league. Like James, he came into the NBA without any experience basically. He went straight from high school, James basically went straight from high school -- he only played three college games.
"That'd be a good guy to connect him with."
Wiseman agrees with his coach, too.
"I actually would choose KG, too," Wiseman said. "KG was one of my favorite players. I'd just ask him the tenacity to the game, the approach, how he approached the game, how he approached each game. How did he get better as a rookie coming into the league, because he came straight out of high school too.
"So really just trying to ask him questions and pick his brain, because he came in really young as well. I'd just want to see his process in how he took the adversity and the difficulties in the NBA and how he came back from that and just improved every day in practice and in games."
Wiseman modeled his game after Garnett growing up and even admitted Sunday that his Twitter handle, @BigTicket_JW, is a tribute to the Hall of Fame big man.
Wiseman has played 12 games with the Warriors this season. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but his eye-popping skills have been on display. The No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft is averaging 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while playing 21.3 minutes a night. Garnett, the No. 5 pick in the 1995 draft, averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game as a rookie while averaging 28.7 minutes.
If Wiseman's career turns out anything close to Garnett's, the Warriors will be elated. It's easy to see the similarities between the two, and a future meeting certainly could be in store.