James Wiseman’s rookie season with the Golden State Warriors came to a premature end. After appearing in 39 games for the Warriors, Wiseman suffered a meniscus injury during a game against the Houston Rockets on April 10. Wiseman had surgery a few days later, and he has been recovering since. While Wiseman was sidelined he watched the Warriors make the NBA’s play-in tournament, but ultimately fail to qualify for postseason play. It was tough for Wiseman to be unable to help his team during that stretch. In fact, the entire injury process has been hard for the 20-year-old big man, as he admitted recently.
“It’s kind of hard, I was really down,” Wiseman said in a video diary for The Undefeated, via NBC Sports. “I can say that I was crying a lot. Yeah, it was bad. My mom had to actually tell me everything was gonna be all right. But I got a great family support system. Really, just me mentally, I’m very strong as a human being. So, I just got through it naturally… I just love the game of basketball so much that I couldn’t even fathom not playing with my teammates. That kind of took a lot out of me.”
The good news for Wiseman is that he should get an opportunity to contribute to Golden State’s roster moving forward, as general manager Bob Myers made it clear that the team doesn’t plan to trade Wiseman, despite speculation that they might look to flip him for a more experienced player.
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“I think he can help us. I expect him to be on the team next year. I don’t want to trade James Wiseman,” Myers said recently. “I think he is a tremendous talent. I think he was put in a position where, again, the guy has taken hopefully all of his lumps early in his career. I think he can be very helpful to us in the future.
“I think he can be helpful in the present. We plan on him being on the team. We plan on him helping us… We’re very confident he is going to be a good player and help us win next year. And so, we think he is part of winning for this team going forward.”
That vote of confidence from Myers gave Wiseman a boost of self-confidence, which could help him during his second season, and beyond.
“When Bob clarified to the news reporters that he wasn’t going to trade me, that gave me a lot of confidence within myself,” Wiseman said. “And it’s just the fact that I’ve been having confidence in myself. I know what I’m capable of.”
Wiseman had his struggles during his first season, but almost all rookies do. He also showed some real flashes of potential, as he averaged 11.5 points on 51 percent shooting from the floor. His continued development, which sounds like it will take place in a Warriors uniform, will be extremely interesting to watch.