Wiseman still on track for summer league debut after big step originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SAN FRANCISCO – Moses Moody’s 2022 California Classic Debut was set to steal the show at Chase Center Sunday night for the Warriors’ summer league showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. Behind closed doors, an equally important development took place earlier in the day.
Some Warriors summer league players, and even coaches, started shuffling in late before being tipped off to their home fields. Why? James Wiseman and a handful of others went through a 5-on-5 scrimmage, which served as a sort of warm-up for some players.
“James was able to do that, looked really good,” Warriors California Classic coach Seth Cooper told reporters. “For James that was a great live day. I was on the track for part of it, but all I heard was that it went really well and he looked really good.”
Sunday marked the first time Wiseman played a true 5-on-5 game up and down the field in this Ramping Up 2.0.
Wiseman still won’t play in the Warriors’ final California Classic game on Tuesday, but his latest positive move continues to keep him on track to play in the Las Vegas Summer League, which would be his summer league debut, despite going to year 3 goes.
“Yeah, I think that’s the plan,” Cooper said. “Somehow I haven’t heard anything, but I know it was a good move today and he looked really good playing.”
Whether that will be the beginning, middle, or end of the Warriors’ time in Las Vegas has yet to be determined. Patrick Baldwin Jr., the Warriors’ top pick in last month’s draft, underwent target practice on Sunday and was still able to play in Vegas. The same goes for Jonathan Kuminga, who will meet his teammates in Vegas.
A smiley Wiseman was in good spirits last wednesday when he met journalists. And why shouldn’t he be?
After missing out on his entire sophomore season in the NBA, the 21-year-old is on track to be back in action soon and show why he was the No. 2 draft two years ago.
“Today felt great,” Wiseman said on June 29. “I feel good there with the guys and everything about it. I’m speechless. I feel good to just play again.”
Wiseman last played in an NBA game on April 10, 2021, when his rookie season ended abruptly with a torn meniscus. Complications delayed his return last season and after playing three G League games, the Warriors sidelined Wiseman for the remainder of the season as he suffered from knee swelling.
They have re-signed Kevon Looney center for a three-year contract of $25.5 million in free agency this off season. Anthony Slater of the Athletic also reported that Looney’s third year on his contract is only a partial $3 million guarantee. Wiseman is seen as the future of the position for the Warriors if he can stay healthy. The two also have many different skills and can complement each other.
The sooner the better.
It’s no secret that this is a big summer for Wiseman. The Warriors must decide before October 31 to pick up its $12.1 million team option for the 2023-24 season. If not, the big man will become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. Golden State invested too much to get away from Wiseman so quickly, and a lot would have to go wrong for the team to get to that point.
He now needs luck to get going. Sunday was another reason for Wiseman and the Warriors to smile.