James Wiseman is finally set to return from another extended injury absence on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The 21-year-old picked a great time to come back with the Golden State Warriors facing off against Ja Morant and the Grizzlies in what should be an intense matchup between two rivals.
Let’s not get too excited, though. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was quick to pour some cold water on Wiseman’s return amid the logjam in Golden State’s frontcourt:
“Do the math. It’s hard to get four centers into a game, especially in 2023,” Kerr said. “So, I think we’re looking at it like game-to-game. We’re looking at the matchups, and seeing who’s available and just going from there.”
Wiseman may be available to play, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be getting heavy minutes in Kerr’s rotation. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the 7-foot center ends up with a handful of healthy DNPs down the road.
Steve Kerr then talked up Wiseman’s value and how the former No. 2 overall pick left quite an impression on him prior to his most recent injury. However, this still doesn’t guarantee Wiseman’s playing time moving forward:
“I’m not afraid to put him in, but at the same time we have a lot of bodies at that spot,” Kerr said.
James Wiseman returns for the Warriors tonight, but it’ll be difficult to find rotation minutes. Draymond Green has been the starting center, Looney off the bench, JaMychal Green an option.
Steve Kerr: “Do the math. It’s hard to get four centers into a game, especially in 2023.” pic.twitter.com/tuWPfnRu99
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 26, 2023
Apart from the fact that the Warriors tend to go small, Wiseman also has the likes of Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and JaMychal Green to contend with in the frontcourt. As coach Kerr implied in his statement above, just don’t expect James Wiseman to log heavy minutes night in and night out.