James Wiseman's 2021-22 NBA season is over.
The Warriors announced Friday that the second-year pro will be sidelined for the remainder of the season, including the playoffs.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that Wiseman had been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Wiseman, who hasn't played this season, will remain in the Bay Area to continue rehabbing his surgically repaired right knee. The Warriors said there are no plans for an additional surgery at this time. Wiseman tore his right meniscus last April.
Warriors president of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers issued a statement regarding the decision to shut down Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
“We’ve maintained throughout his entire rehabilitation process that we’re going to be patient and look out for James’ best interests in what we anticipate to be a long and successful career. As a 20 year-old, his entire career is ahead of him. For us, as an organization, our focus is on James’ long-term health and we’re confident—and our doctors are confident—that this long-term approach will help James become the player we believe he will evolve into when he returns to the court.”
The latest news on Wiseman comes six days after he sustained a setback during a rehab stint with the G League Santa Cruz Warriors. He played in three games for the Sea Dubs before experiencing swelling in his right knee.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke to reporters 90 minutes before the team's game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on Friday and offered further explanation as to why Golden State put an end to any hopes of Wiseman playing this season.
"Ultimately, very simple," Kerr said. "We're protecting James' future and makes the most sense to go this route. Again, I feel terrible for James and he's been through so much already in just two seasons. But his long-term health looks good, the knee looks sound. Just a decision we feel makes the most sense for his own best interest and out best interest as well."
The Warriors had been ramping up Wiseman with the hope that he could return for the stretch run and give them a traditional 7-foot center they desperately need as they head into the playoffs in mid-April.
In the end, Wiseman won't be able to help them this year.
"What we do we have? Nine games left?" Kerr said. "Basically, it didn't make sense to play him over the next couple of weeks. That's where the knee is. So it's structurally sound, but he has swelling. So in the name of being cautious, this is what we're doing."
Kerr and the Warriors will have to plow ahead with Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Nemanja Bjelica eating up most of the minutes at center. There weren't any great options on the trade market or buyout market. Wiseman's return was supposed to be the added body to help the frontcourt.
"I still feel really good about our roster and our situation at center with Draymond and Loon and Beli," Kerr said. "[Jonathan Kuminga] can play small ball five, Otto [Porter Jr.] as well, so I feel fine about our depth."
Wiseman's first two seasons haven't gone as planned and his future remains murky. Will he be able to bounce back over the summer and start the 2022-23 season healthy? Will he be able to carve out a role on a team with championship aspirations? Is he part of the future building blocks along with Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody?
Time will tell.