Warriors recall James Wiseman after 7 games with G League

ByKendra Andrews ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
ESPN

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Golden State Warriors announced Tuesday they have recalled center James Wiseman from their G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors.

The Warriors flew to Salt Lake City on Tuesday for a one-game road trip against theJazzon Wednesday. Wiseman is expected to be available. Golden State will, however, be without Stephen Curry (left ankle soreness), Draymond Green (left hip tightness) and Andrew Wiggins (right adductor strain), who were ruled out for the Utah game.

Wiseman met with reporters Wednesday.

"I'm focusing on improving in the small areas, just 1% better each day. Setting screens, getting to the dunker spot, protecting the rim more," Wiseman said. "I'm getting better at that ... I feel like I'm getting my rhythm back and my confidence back."

Wiseman was sent to the G League nearly three weeks ago after struggling early in the season. The Warriors felt he'd get the individual attention, practice time and in-game reps he needed to develop quicker in Santa Cruz.

"[Santa Cruz] was fun," he said. "I'm a hooper. I got to play 25, 28 minutes. That was love right there. I was going out there, working hard, just trying to get better, had so much fun out there. Probably too much fun."

Wiseman hasn't played a full basketball season in four years. He played just three games with Memphisin 2019-20, tore his meniscus during his rookie NBA season and then faced numerous setbacks that kept him out all of 2021-22.

As the Warriors also sputtered to start the 2022-23 season, they couldn't afford the mistakes Wiseman was making.

In seven games with Santa Cruz, Wiseman averaged 15.6 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.14 blocks in 26.6 minutes. He posted his first positive net rating on Saturday against the Stockton Kings, finishing plus-17, a sign that his feel for the game is improving.

What Wiseman's role will look like now that he's back with Golden State is unclear. The team has found some rhythm but still sits just above .500 with a 13-12 record.

"I'm so much more grateful, more appreciative of this moment now to be able to be back up here," he said. "I'm just grateful to be back playing at this level, also, being in a small hotel room the last two weeks not doing nothing, I'm just grateful to be back up here in a big-a-- hotel again, be in a great bed again."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he's not comfortable switching up his rotation unnecessarily because of the chemistry that is being built.