After some recent struggles, Golden State Warriors rookie center James Wiseman was moved to the bench for Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Veteran Kevon Looney slid into Wiseman’s starting spot, and the No. 2 overall pick played 16 minutes in a reserve role. Wiseman was productive in that time, scoring 13 points, grabbing four rebounds and blocking two shots.
Wiseman took the demotion in stride, telling reporters it is actually “helpful for my development” to observe Looney and then come in in relief. Warriors forward Draymond Green also voiced encouragement for the first-year big man.
Green made it clear after last night’s win over Minnesota that even if Wiseman isn’t starting, he’s still a player Golden State will be counting on.
Draymond Green on James Wiseman: "If he's coming off the bench or not, he's one of the most important players on this team."
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 26, 2021
Wiseman is averaging 11.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game thus far. He’s reached double-figures 11 times and produced a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 3.
Overall, Wiseman has just been experiencing some of the growing pains that every rookie goes through. He clearly has the attitude necessary for growth in the NBA and should continue to get more comfortable as the season rolls along.