Will Wiseman play in G League and when?
The latest James Wiseman news is in the clickable video above, which includes belated interview footage from as far back as postgame in Portland last Thursday with Stephen Curry, but as recent as yesterday at practice at the Minnesota Timberwolves’ practice facility with Steve Kerr where he stood firm, jokingly, on his “day to day” stance with Wiseman’s status.
But Bob Myers also hopped on 95.7 The Game a few hours ago on The Morning Roast with Bonta & Shasky (around the 8:45AM mark) and said the following:
It’s really about having enough of that body of work to then say, ‘Go play.’ I leave it to Rick Celebrini and our medical staff to then say how many of those do you need. How many games like that and how do you respond … the reps are the big thing. He’s gotta rep as many times as he can because he missed so much time. But I’m the same as you guys. I’ve asked this question more than I care to admit, as to when. The best thing I can tell you is we’re in a better place than we were two weeks ago, a month ago, two months ago because he’s playing consistently live basketball. And that’s the final part to playing and whether he starts in Santa Cruz or the NBA, I don’t know yet but the idea would be to get him at least maybe a game in Santa Cruz and then get him hopefully some time with our team and let Steve decide how he wants to use him. He’s progressing fine. Hopefully in the next week or two or whatever it is, we can find a time to get him out on the court.
So let’s take a look at that G League Santa Cruz calendar and dissect when Wiseman could return to the court with SCW:
We know this much: Kerr ruled Wiseman out of any G League games through the beginning of next week when he said James would be joining the Golden State Warriors on the current road trip. The team doesn’t return until March 8th on an away-home back-to-back that was necessitated by the rescheduling of the earlier Warriors at Denver Nuggets game which got postponed due to the Nuggets not having the minimum eight players available because of COVID issues. Ironically and speaking of injured players ramping back up, Klay Thompson had that pivotal 5-on-5 scrimmage that evening in Denver. Btw, kudos to Anthony Slater for staying on top of Kerr to get the latest plans on Wiseman through the end of the present trip they’re on.
That brings us to March 8th, 13th or 19th as the three most imminent Santa Cruz games Wiseman could play in. The one on the 13th is particularly interesting because it’s a scheduled SCW game at Chase Center.
If you’ve read this far, congratulations. I’ve been told by an insider that the reason Klay did not play any G League games was because “if Klay was going to play any games or get injured again, they wanted to make sure he had the entire staff there. The Santa Cruz team doesn’t provide all that stuff.”
Well… all that stuff will certainly be there or can be there easily (“Paging Rick Celebrini!”) on March 13th in San Francisco! 🤔
Incidentally, I had thought the reason Klay didn’t play any G League games was that risk of injury. In my opinion, risk of injury is higher, the lower level of basketball you go. You never know, you might have the G League opponent’s 12th man suddenly on the floor. Let’s say there’s a fast break and that guy is trailing Thompson. Is he necessarily looking out for Klay’s safety — is he even athletic enough to pull it off? — or are his animal instincts telling him a chase-down block of a future Hall-of-Famer could be his one shining moment?
So if Klay ever got injured in a G League game, it would sure look bad for the decision-makers on that, rather than if Klay ever got injured upon his return to NBA games only.
I figured that was the case with Wiseman, too, but I was wrong. Perhaps my fear of injury in G League is greater than what the GSW performance staff thinks; they certainly have better knowledge and data on that than I do. Also, James is still technically developing and the G League is a “developmental league”, so that’s congruent.
And Wiseman returning to the court in March 13th at Chase Center to play with the Santa Cruz Warriors sure would sell a lot more tickets than usual.
Curry/Kerr quotes from the video above
• *How did Wiseman look in the scrimmage?* “…it was weird because it was like that rusty post all star scrimmage where the overall game was sloppy but he had a lot of good overall energy. Got that putback dunk. Just kinda chomping at the bit to get to the next step of his return to play schedule. He’s a beast when you look at him on the floor especially with the rest of our team how quote unquote undersized we are …
• *How to integrate Wiseman:* “Right now it’s not even a thought … what’s gonna happen today, is he gonna scrimmage, how’s he feeling, what’s he doing in the weight room and is he progressing? And the good news is over the last few weeks he’s really progressed and ramped it up and he’ll continue to do that … then we’ll give that some thought …”
• *Will Wiseman go on the road trip?* “Yes he is going on the trip … he’ll get his work in on practice days on the trip.”
• *That rules Wiseman out of any G League this week, right?* “Yeah.”
• *(inaudible)* “Just day to day so we’ll see where it all goes.”
• *Are you sure there will not be any buyout action?* “That’s always a question for Bob … Bob has not called me at all the last few days … I don’t think anything’s cooking … but you never know …”