Warriors making a drastic decision with James Wiseman’s career

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James Wiseman’s career is at a crossroads, and Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors are making a decision to hopefully jump-start it.

On Monday night, Steve Kerr announced that Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman would be sent down to the G-League for an undetermined amount of time. Kerr hinted at 10 days or more.

Optically, Steve Kerr sending James Wiseman down to the Santa Cruz Warriors after a 2-point performance in nine minutes on Monday night looks like a major demotion. One should zoom out a bit and understand that Wiseman was put in the game when the Warriors already had a 30-point lead after not having been put in the rotation over the last 10 days.

While you could look at this as a demotion, it appears to be more of an opportunity for Wiseman. At least, that’s the way the team is framing it.

“We will keep him there for an extended period to get really good practice time and some games… He’s gonna find his way back to the rotation at some point. But the best thing for him is to play a lot of minutes and get a lot of reps,” Kerr said to Anthony Slater and the media.

James Wiseman has a chance to make this a defining moment in his career in a good way

As Anthony Slater pointed out, Jordan Poole spent some time in the G-League in 2020-21. A year later, he was a substantial piece of a title run and Warriors championship.

Here is what Poole said on Wiseman going down to the G-League:

And though Poole was somewhat disappointed when he was sent down to the G League himself, here’s how he approached the situation when he was sent down, per NBC Sports:

“I go down there, I’m like, ‘Alright, I know I’m going to end up being back up,’” Poole said. “And eventually I’m going to be the guy. Let me look at this opportunity as that. No matter what, we’re finna win these games. If it’s close games, I’m taking the shots, making the plays. I’m getting everybody else involved.”

Wiseman is undoubtedly talented and physically gifted, but unfortunately, his play has not been consistent enough to warrant a need for him in the rotation on a regular basis. While other teams may not leverage their G League arm as frequently as the Warriors do, clearly this is something they’ve seen work (see: Poole) and are hoping it pays off again.

The G League can offer Wiseman something the NBA can’t right now: Raw game-action minutes. While the talent level is a tier below the NBA, getting up to game speed and comfortable with actions within the Warriors system could be an important step forward.

Should Wiseman make the most of this opportunity, he could look back on his career and see this “demotion” as the opportunity that turned him into one of the league’s best fives.

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