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Report: Charlotte wants to draft James Wiseman, would trade up to get him

James Wiseman

PORTLAND, OREGON - NOVEMBER 12: James Wiseman #32 of the Memphis Tigers walks up court during the first half of the game against the Oregon Ducks between the Oregon Ducks and Memphis Grizzlies at Moda Center on November 12, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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This rumor had been floating out there before: Both Golden State with the No. 2 pick and Charlotte with the No 3 want to draft James Wiseman.

We don’t know if that’s true about Golden State, but a report from the well-connected Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer says that the Hornets are in indeed high on Wiseman and would trade up to get him.

The Hornets are highly interested in selecting former Memphis center James Wiseman in the Nov. 18 draft, two NBA sources with knowledge of the situation told The Observer...

Those sources said they believe the Hornets — who hold the third overall pick — would consider trading up if it would secure Wiseman, who played just three college games at Memphis before opting out of his freshman season and turning pro.

Both Minnesota, with the No. 1 pick and Golden State at No. 2, are willing to trade their picks. In particular, the Warriors seem to be blowing a lot of smoke about their intentions, but there have been rumors they like Wiseman, and Draymond Green
said the young big would fit well with them. Golden State also is a win-now team with a healthy Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, if they make a trade they want players who can help them right now, not projects for the future.

Charlotte could offer the No. 32 pick in this draft to move up, or a number of young players on their roster such as Malik Monk or Miles Bridges (P.J. Washington would likely be off-limits for this move).

The Hornets are looking for elite talent and certainly need help at the five where Cody Zeller is their starting center. A Wiseman and Washington front line would need to be developed by coach James Borego but could become a key part of Charlotte’s future.

Wiseman has the potential to be very good, but he’s also years away from that and needs both player development and to accept his role. Wiseman is 7'0" and has the mobility and athleticism teams want in a center in the modern NBA. He has real potential as a shot blocker and a defensive force. He has the potential as a big who can set a screen and pop out for a three or roll and finish at the rim on offense, then protect the rim and guard some in space on defense. Part of the challenge is reportedly he sees himself as more than that, as more of an offensive focal point big man who can face up and run the offense (think Anthony Davis or Giannis Antetokounmpo). If he can accept he’s not that guy but can impact the game as a center, he will have a long and impactful NBA career.

Maybe in Charlotte. Or maybe Golden State.