Sensing confusion, Kerr has a one-on-one chat with Wiseman, originally appearing on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO – After languishing on the bench in back-to-back games, James Wiseman’s near future with the Warriors looks as gray as the Bay Area sky on Sunday.
The same can be said of his mind.
Realizing this, coach Steve Kerr took Wiseman aside for a chat before the team headed to the airport for an afternoon flight to Oklahoma City.
“I did, just because it’s hard to go through this as a young player,” Kerr said after training. “And you need representatives. And you haven’t experienced the competition for a long time and you don’t always understand what’s happening.”
Getting “reps,” short for repetition, was the rationale for sending Wiseman to the G League Santa Cruz Warriors in November and again in December. He returned to Golden State on December 16 and appeared in seven NBA games before spraining his left ankle during a 3-of-3 drill on December 30.
Wiseman was cleared to play last Wednesday, but did not appear that night against the Memphis Grizzlies or Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. Meanwhile, between those two games, the Warriors sent three other young players—Patrick Baldwin Jr., Moses Moody, and Ryan Rollins—to Santa Cruz to get representatives.
Wiseman, who needs representatives, has none at either level. The 7-foot-1 center got a courtside view of Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and JaMychal Green, accounting for minutes at center.
“One of the things I said to James is that things change quickly in this league,” said Kerr. ‘You just don’t know. I reminded him that JK had some DNPs early this season. It is heavy. But things can change quickly and you should always be ready.
“I would like to get him out, but at the moment JaMychal is playing very well. It is clear that we have moved to a smaller line-up, so that Loon and Draymond play together less often. It creates a bit of a blockage at that position. James just needs to stay ready.’
Wiseman, 21, has played in 19 NBA games this season and a total of 58 in his often interrupted career. He played 10 games in the G League this season.
As of Sunday afternoon, Wiseman had no idea when — or where — he’d appear in an actual game.
“I try to explain things to all my players as I make decisions about playing time and rotations,” said Kerr. “But especially the young boys, because they don’t see it. They have never experienced it before.”
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Kerr said “it’s a possibility” that Wiseman could make another trip to the G League, but that a final decision is pending.
Wiseman is uncertain about his future. Whether with Golden State or Santa Cruz. Whether with this franchise or any other. Whether he plays Monday in Oklahoma City, Wednesday in Minnesota or Thursday in Denver.
Forgive him if his mind occasionally wanders in the fog.
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