Every rookie needs a veteran to be put under their wing. But not many of them are able to be guided by a three time champion. Throughout this season, James Wiseman has had a golden opportunity to play under the incredible leadership in Draymond Green. The lessons and talks that Wiseman is getting from Green is allowing him to evolve as a phenomenal NBA player.
Sometimes younger players do not need a high caliber player to lead them along the way. Throughout his career, Draymond has never been known as an elite scorer in the NBA. But many will never question his intelligence for the game. Draymond has always played his role perfectly en route to Golden State‘s three championship seasons. Now, later in his career, he’s looking to teach that same embodiment to Wiseman this season.
There’s numerous reasons why Wiseman was selected by Golden State. One could be just because the team was lucky to have the second overall pick. But the front office saw more in the young big man than other organizations. The team has expressed their near-draft pick of LaMelo Ball to play alongside Stephen Curry in the backcourt. But they later on agreed that Wiseman was a better asset to the team as far as chemistry. In his first season, Wiseman has shown promise, allowing everyone to remember what he was in his few games played at the University of Memphis.
Wiseman is averaging 11.6 points per game on 50% shooting from the floor. He has always shown the skillset to play at all levels of the floor and it has continued in his first season at Golden State. It is not just Stephen Curry’s shooting ability that allows Wiseman to have good quality looks at the basket. It is also Draymond Green‘s point forward ability to feed Wiseman in open spots. As he towers over most defenders standing at 7’1, it is always easy for Wiseman to have the ball dumped to him to shoot a high percentage shot.
Through the course of this season, we’ve witnessed Wiseman be the imperfect rookie on the roster. It is understandable, to say the least, as he gains more knowledge at the NBA level. This is where Draymond Green steps in as the veteran to allow his mistakes to be known. There have been numerous occasions where Wiseman was not in right positions, looking as if he doesn’t understand the plays on offense. Green has made sure to keep him aware of where to be when he has the ball at the top of the key or the wing.
Whether it is on the floor or during a timeout, Green has allowed Wiseman to understand his mistakes. Many of them are glaring for everyone as they should be addressed immediately. The impressive thing about it is Wiseman remains humble even after numerous mistakes on the floor. I can tell you what, when Green explains to Wiseman what to do better, he certainly does listen.
For most veterans, some usually wait until the tail end of their career to bring a rookie under their wing. But Green tends to understand the value that Wiseman has to take this team to the next level. Wiseman’s tangibles on the floor is a key reason to Golden State’s early start to the season. Even when things go wrong, they always tend to weather the storm and play together on both ends. In the later times of the franchise, Wiseman will gain more momentum and feed off everyone’s energy as he transitions to an all-star caliber center.
Wiseman and Green have an opportunity to grow their relationship to an even higher standard. The franchise is projected to be in Wiseman’s hands once Curry, Thompson, and Green call it quits. Green expects excellence out of everyone on the team, particularly Wiseman. So there’s no question that he will continue to hold him accountable for what he does on the court. The tenacity that Green portrays will allow Wiseman to blossom into a phenomenal, all around center for the Warriors’ future.