If James Wiseman is as good as Draymond Green believes he can be, the Warriors rookie won't be making holiday plans for a long time.
Green wants to help the 19-year-old grow in two key areas in order to reach his potential. Just how good can Wiseman become?
The kind of good where you play on the NBA's marquee regular-season date every single year.
“I think, for me, the biggest thing I am trying to help him with is his understanding of the game and his mentality," Green told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kendra Andrews and Grant Liffmann in the latest episode of "Dubs Talk." "Because I think, if his understanding of the game continue to grow, and his mentality gets to where it needs to be, everybody can cancel Christmas, ‘cause he’ll dominate this league for the next 15 years.”
The Warriors drafted Wiseman with the No. 2 selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, and Green took the talented center under his wing shortly after the Warriors called Wiseman's name in November. Wiseman had barely put on his Golden State hat when Green texted him to get ready to work, and they've become close in their first season together.
Green has publicly shared how highly he thinks of Wiseman multiple times this season, and Wiseman has been an eager listener. Wiseman has had an up-and-down rookie season, yet he's still first among rookies in rebounds per game (6.0) and fifth in points (11.8).
During their on- and off-court conversations, Green has repeatedly stressed to Wiseman to continue believing in himself no matter how difficult things seem. If Wiseman turns the ball over or misses consecutive shots, Green wants him to go right back at the defense on the next possession.
"Enjoying the lumps that he takes, it’s all a part of the process," Green explained. "And while taking those lumps, staying confident. One thing that people don’t talk about when speaking of the NBA game is confidence, and when you lose confidence in this league, you could forget about it.
"You may as well hang ‘em up because you’re not going to be able to produce at the level you need to be able to produce at. Confidence is so important, so I’m just always on him about just staying confident."
If Wiseman is even fractionally as confident in himself as Green is in him, the rookie will be just fine.