There has been a lot of despair in the Bay Area the past few weeks, with the Warriors struggling to win consistently and rookie James Wiseman going down with a meniscus tear, and head coach Steve Kerr added fuel to the fire this week when he claimed the Warriors “don’t know the answer” to if Wiseman can develop quickly enough to win alongside the Warriors’ Big Three.
“We just didn’t have a sense of how raw he would be because we only had 3 college games of his,” Kerr said on Damon, Ratto & Kolsky. “Can we get James up to speed to match the timeline of our 3 core guys? That’s a great question and we don’t know the answer.”
Steve Kerr (via @DRK957) on Wiseman:
"We just didn't have a sense of how raw he would be because we only had 3 college games of his.
Can we get James up to speed to match the timeline of our 3 core guys? That's a great question and we don't know the answer."
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) April 16, 2021
Prior to the injury, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in 21.4 minutes, and clearly struggled to pick up on Kerr’s motion offense. Though to be fair, Kerr has also been widely criticized for refusing for the most part to put Wiseman in simple pick-and-roll situations where he could be more successful as a rookie.
With Klay Thompson expected to begin his return to play next season and Steph Curry still clearly in his prime, the Warriors are aiming for a competitive 2021-22 season. While it’s puzzling to see Kerr claim they didn’t realize Wiseman would be a project, it’s a realistic question whether Wiseman can be a positive winning player any time soon.