Ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft, it appeared that all eyes were locked on Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball as being the two most talented options. However, one player was always a lock for that #2 selection, James Wiseman.
The Golden State Warriors were determined to get their man, in Wiseman, and they did. As they selected the Memphis Tigers prospect on November 18, 2020, with their #2 pick.
Wiseman only featured 3 times for the Tigers, with averages of 19.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 3 blocks. On 70.4% shooting from the field. It was a spell at the collegiate level that was marred with legal battles surrounding his recruitment, which led to a suspension.
On December 19, 2019, the 7-foot-1 center left Memphis to focus on the NBA draft. But one thing remained, his sheer talent. Along with his promise of being the NBA’s next marquee big man.
The New G League Select Team:
In April 2020, the NBA G League shocked the recruiting world with their reshaped professional pathway program. Fed through a select team of elite prospects (G League Ignite). The program would offer youngsters $500,000-plus in salary alongside on-and-off the court development opportunities. In addition, a full college scholarship would be included.
The aggressive move was made to give elite prospects a route to the NBA without having to do a minimum of 1-year at college. While getting paid in the process. Effectively jumping to the professional level straight out of high-school.
Wiseman’s Views on the Select Team:
In pre-draft media availability ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft, NBA Call-Ups had the pleasure of speaking to James Wiseman about the G League select team. What his opinions on the program were and whether he thought it was an attractive route to the NBA.
“It’s based on the player’s decision. What they want to do and how they want to pursue their career. I feel like college was somewhere I wanted to be. I’m a very educational person, my mom had to pay for education everyday. That’s why I wanted to go to college.”– James Wiseman on the G League select team
The 19-year-old stated that such a move is dependent on the circumstances surrounding a player. Before emphasizing that the college route was something he desired to do. Highlighting receiving an education as being the important factor.
Wiseman continued by implying that the experience of facing off against college players is a “great stepping stone” for young players on their journey to the NBA.
“Also, just the development. To have the experience of playing against college players is really a great stepping stone before getting to the NBA.”– James Wiseman on developing at the collegiate level
The Warriors’ Quest to Return to the “Golden” Days:
All eyes will be on James Wiseman’s development at the professional level. As he steps up with the aim of being an important long-term piece for the 6-time NBA Champions. Alongside established stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Either way, the Golden State Warriors clearly value Wiseman as being the centerpiece (no pun intended) of their quest to return to championship glory.
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