Warriors

Dubs 'didn't necessarily' have Wiseman top of first draft board

Warriors
James Wiseman Bob Myers

A lot of people thought it would be a total no-brainer for the Warriors to select James Wiseman with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft if he was available.

And that is exactly what happened.

But the rookie big man wasn't always the clear-cut choice for Golden State.

“We didn’t necessarily have him at the top before,” president of basketball operations Bob Myers recently told the Bay Area News Group's Wes Goldberg. “In the end, he was our favorite guy.”

There were rumors that the Warriors initially were higher on USC's Onyeka Okongwu, who ended up going No. 6 overall to the Atlanta Hawks.

And it wasn't easy to get the necessary intel on Wiseman because he played in just three college games at Memphis.

"When Myers scouted Wiseman in November 2019, his impression may have been best described as lukewarm," Goldberg writes. "Wiseman struggled defending Oregon’s pick-and-roll and got into foul trouble.

"The takeaway: He was big and athletic, but raw."

Wiseman is averaging 12.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks through his first 24 games, while shooting 51.5 percent overall, 40 percent from deep and 63.2 percent from the free throw line.

He has shown "superstar" flashes, yet remains raw and understandably needs more time to develop.

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The Warriors are well aware of the tricky situation they are in when it comes to getting Wiseman the necessary reps, while also trying to win as many games as possible.

 

"James is on a little bit of a shorter leash sometimes -- a little bit of pressure," Myers said. "It will be good for him in the long run.”

And speaking of the long run:

"I want to be an All-Star, win MVP, win some rings, be one of the best players in the league," Wiseman told Goldberg. "I want to become a Warrior forever."

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