Zaza reveals important way Wiseman evolved after rookie year

James Wiseman

The Warriors got good news Monday, as second-year center James Wiseman was cleared for full practice with the team as he continues to rehab from surgery to repair a meniscus injury.

Wiseman had a turbulent rookie season with the Warriors, but front office consultant Zaza Pachulia has seen a distinct difference in the young big man as he enters his second NBA season.

"He looks good and, most importantly, his attitude is amazing compared to last year," Pachulia told 95.7 The Game on Tuesday. "Last year he was so quiet and you'd go into a meeting and it felt like he was in the principal's office. But this year he is more open, and his personality is showing, and I love it. He's joking, he's smiling more.

"Even though things have been tough for him, obviously as a rookie you want to play and show what you can do, and prove to a lot of people including media and fans that you deserve to be the second pick and that you're talented and can be an amazing player, but unfortunately he has been injured. But even though he went through that difficult time here for a couple months, he is smiling more. I love it. He is talking more, he is engaged in conversations and more off the court stuff.

"I'm excited for James to come back. First of all for him to play basketball, but second of all because I think he has grown as a person."

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Wiseman played in 39 games as a rookie, averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game before the meniscus injury ended his season in April.

The 20-year-old spoke with the media Monday and explained why he thinks Year 2 will be much better than his inaugural NBA campaign.

"I feel way more comfortable because I have way more experience than last year," Wiseman said. "Just bringing that to my second year, I don't feel lost, I don't feel confused out there. I feel like I know what I'm doing. This year is way better because I have the knowledge from last year to bring over to the second year and just build off that."

While Wiseman's return date is unknown, NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole reported that the center could return in mid-to-late November barring any setbacks.

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