by Alex Poletti
Photo by ESPN
With the NBA draft just one month away, The Second String’s series where our team of analysts dissects every aspect of a prospect’s game to see if they are really worth a top ten lottery pick has returned. Here’s our pick for number one:
The 2020 NBA draft doesn’t have the slam-dunk one-two combo that Zion Williamson and Ja Morant formed last year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t talent to go around. Assuming the Warriors, with the worst record in basketball, get the first overall pick, we see center James Wiseman out of Memphis as the choice.
The 7’1 freshman leaves a lot of questions unanswered, having sat out the majority season after the NCAA suspended him for accepting $11,500 from the university to move his family to the city. However, the lack of playing time, more than anything else, is what draws Golden State to this prospect.
“He missed practically all of this season,” Bob Myers explains. “That sounds like a Golden State Warrior to me. The way I see it, he’ll fit right in with Steph and Klay. We love giving the players something to bond over, and missing an entire season is a great starting point.”
Aside from his similarities to the Splash Brothers in terms of games played, Wiseman fills a glaring hole for the Warriors, who have been without a true center for quite some time, with Draymond Green most commonly playing at the five at 6’6 for their run of championships.
“The sample size is small for Wiseman, but 19.7 points per game, even over three games, is nothing to scoff at,” head statistician for The Second String Gabriel Radtke says. “But looking passed the stats, he’s a great scheme fit for the Warriors. With [Steve] Kerr’s coaching and the potential for reinjury in 2021, the chemistry may push Wiseman and the Warriors over the top.”
Wiseman sustained an ankle injury in October, and his frame 7’1, 250-pound frame suggests that he may be susceptible to further complications down the line. Again, this may work in the favor of his future with the Warriors.
“Kerr tends to value veteran presence when it comes to roster building,” Radtke explains. “Even though Wiseman is only 19 and is very green, he has the injury risk of 30-and-over players like Curry and Thompson, which may be enough for Myers and Kerr to see him as a legitimate option for the future.”