Why Simmons says Wolves passing on Wiseman could be 'fireable'


The James Wiseman praise just keeps coming, and it doesn't appear it will fade any time soon.

The Ringer's Bill Simmons and Ryan Russillo broke down Wiseman's early showings on The Bill Simmons Podcast on Tuesday, and there was no shortage of fondness from either host. 

"[The Warriors] are playing him perfectly," Simmons said. "20 minutes a game, he’s obviously a really smart kid who’s trying to learn as much as he can, his instincts are great. He can shoot, which is really rare for a five, and he’s [expletive] big." 

“He’s big, he’s athletic,” he continued. “He was my No. 1 pick heading into the draft, I would not change it.”

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The Warriors selected Wiseman with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, as the Minnesota Timberwolves opted for Georgia product Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 pick. Wiseman has shined in his early career, securing a role as the Warriors' starting center, while averaging 10.6 points and 6.4 rebounds a game.

According to Russillo, Minnesota electing to draft Edwards was a big mistake.


"Even at a few weeks in, it almost feels like, wait, why was there a debate about who was going to be No. 1? Because physically, it’s stupid," Russillo said. "Wiseman will go up for rebounds where other guys haven’t even thought of making that decision yet."

Simmons took it a step further.

"The fact that Minnesota didn’t take him … if your case for not taking Wiseman is, we already have Karl-Anthony Towns, that’s fireable," he said. "I actually think they could’ve played together, and they would have had a real problem."

Wiseman, 19, obviously still has plenty of development ahead of him, but he's impressed the organization on all fronts so far. Head coach Steve Kerr, along with a multitude of teammates -- including Draymond Green -- have gushed over Wiseman's capabilities.

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Golden State has also stressed Wiseman's potential and a nearly limitless ceiling. Russillo couldn't agree more.

"He’s actually been more decisive as a pro player than some of the moments I saw him in his limited time at Memphis," Russillo said. "We were starting to hear before the season, ‘Hey, this guy may be insane.’"

"Wiseman is fun," he added. "And a full version of the Warriors with him, is kind of scary in a year."

That sure does seem to be the sentiment around the league. Sure, Wiseman still has plenty to learn, but who better to learn from than the likes of Kerr, Green, Steph Curry and eventually Klay Thompson? He's played just 11 games, but the early return on Wiseman is quite high, and the league has taken plenty of notice.