After his latest injury setback, the Golden State Warriors have ruled center James Wiseman out for the season, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wiseman last played in an NBA game last April, when he tore the meniscus in his right knee during a game against the Rockets.
ESPN Sources: Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman has been ruled out for the rest of the season and will continue rehabilitating his right knee. Wiseman has been recovering from a meniscus repair last April, and the team has been cautious to protect him for the long-term.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2022
Wiseman’s recovery has been a long and frustrating process for the 20-year old big man. Originally expected to be able to return to the court early this season, Wiseman underwent a second surgery this winter that pushed his timetable closer to the postseason. After a laborious rehab, it looked like the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft was finally nearing his NBA return earlier this month.
The Warriors briefly cleared Wiseman for action and sent him to the G-League, where he showed some promising flashes in multiple games with the Santa Cruz Warriors. However, Wiseman suffered inflammation in his right knee last weekend, which led the team to shut him down indefinitely. Now, the organization has officially ruled him out for the season.
Without Wiseman, the Warriors will have to rely heavily on their roster's limited big man depth. Kevon Looney and Nemanja Bjelica are the only two “big men” on the Warriors' current roster, even on the smaller side. Golden State has ample small-ball center options, though, and Wiseman’s absence should provide even more opportunities for rookie Jonathan Kuminga to get playing time at the five. Still, head coach Steve Kerr would surely prefer having a true seven-footer, like Wiseman, available off the bench.
As a rookie, Wiseman played in 39 games (27 starts) and averaged 21.4 minutes, 11.5 points, 5.8 points, and 0.9 blocks per game while shooting 54.2% from two, 31.6% from three, and 62.8% from the free-throw line. Hopefully, he will be able to build on those numbers next season.