Why Wiseman returning to Warriors' starting lineup seems likely

James Wiseman Rudy Gobert jumpball

Steve Kerr made it clear after the Warriors' loss to the LA Clippers on Thursday night that James Wiseman is going to be in the unit that starts the second and fourth quarters moving forward.

Kerr also was definitive with another variable relating to the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft.

"His minutes are gonna go up," Kerr said of Wiseman. "His minutes are gonna go up. I'll just leave it at that."

So, when you factor in everything and connect some dots, it sure sounds like Wiseman -- who started the Warriors' first 16 games before he began coming off the bench -- very well could be back in the starting lineup Sunday vs. Rudy Gobert and the first-place Utah Jazz.

Interestingly, the 7-footer's last start was Jan. 23 in Utah when the Dubs got off to a horrendous start, falling behind by 17 points just minutes into the game.

It's a very difficult matchup for the soon-to-be 20-year-old, but you might as well see how he handles it, right?

Now you might be asking yourself -- why not just keep starting Kevon Looney and have Wiseman enter the game midway through the first quarter like he has been?

Well, that would mean the rookie would be on the floor for about 12 straight minutes -- and I'm guessing the coaching staff is opposed to that scenario.


As for the aforementioned Looney, it will be interesting to see what his role becomes. If Wiseman in fact rejoins the starting unit, it's possible that Looney plays the last six  or seven minutes of the first and third quarters.

But there is a scenario in which Eric Paschall and Draymond Green play the four and five respectively during those stretches, and Looney is removed from the rotation entirely.

RELATED: How Warriors planted seeds of pivot to future in loss to Clips

Kerr loves the 25-year-old and fully trusts him. He knows what Looney brings to the table, and can call his number at any point in time. But don't be surprised if the veteran big man joins Damion Lee in the unfortunate position of needing to sacrifice while the coaching staff experiments with various combinations.

"I would love to have everybody be part of the rotation. It's just not possible," Kerr said after Thursday's loss when asked about Lee. "I love all these guys. They all deserve to play. They're all good enough to play. But that's not how it works.

"Every game will be a little bit different. Everybody on our team's gotta be ready to go."

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