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James Wiseman has a torn meniscus, could be out for the year

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Golden State’s rookie just got dealt a severe developmental curveball.

Chicago Bulls v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors started their Sunday with some bad news. Center James Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, has a torn meniscus and could miss the rest of the season.

Wiseman injured his knee during Saturday’s win over the Houston Rockets. The athletic rookie sprung to the hoop and cocked back for an emphatic dunk attempt, but was blocked by Kenyon Martin Jr. The force of the block stopped Wiseman’s momentum in the air, and led to an awkward landing.

He was in visible pain immediately, but was able to walk off the court on his own power. He didn’t return to the game.

The injury is a severe hit to Wiseman’s development, which keeps getting thrown off track. After playing just three games at Memphis during his collegiate career, Wiseman was stripped of Summer League and a normal offseason due to the pandemic. He then missed the entirety of training camp after testing positive for the coronavirus, and has since missed 14 games because of a sprained wrist and a bout on the health and safety protocol.

Golden State was banking on getting some strong developmental minutes for Wiseman over the team’s final 19 games (plus any in the playoffs), but now that time will be slim or nonexistent.

It also leaves the Warriors very thin at the center position, as Kevon Looney is their only real option. Barring the shocking move to turn to Alen Smailagić, the team will likely be forced to play small with Draymond Green and Juan Toscano-Anderson, which, in all honesty, will probably benefit them in the short run.

Hopefully Wiseman can make a quick full recovery, and have a normal offseason this year. The Warriors are counting on him being a strong contributor on next year’s team.