The projected NBA lottery pick insisted he will remain happy with wherever he hears his name called in the upcoming draft.
"Any team that picks me," former Memphis center James Wiseman said Monday, "I’ll be truly grateful for that."
Still, Wiseman could not help but speak glowingly of the Golden State Warriors as that potential team. They have the No. 2 pick on Wednesday after finishing last season with the NBA’s worst record (15-50). But the Warriors, who are only two years removed from winning three NBA titles in five Finals appearances, will also have a healthy Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green after all three spent the past year nursing various injuries.
"It would be great because they won a lot of championships. Being in that type of tradition and being in that type of environment would be great for me," Wiseman said. "It would create an extra push in terms of my maturity as a basketball player. Learning under Steph and Klay would be a great situation for me to be in."
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Unsurprisingly, the Warriors and Charlotte Hornets (No. 3 pick) interviewed Wiseman and witnessed a workout. With both holding top picks, either team could select Wiseman because of his versatility at center as both a post-up and perimeter player. Surprisingly, the Minnesota Timberwolves have not attended any of his workouts despite having the No. 1 pick.
James Wiseman played only three games for Memphis, but he impressed by averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and three blocks. (Photo: Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports)
"I’ve been getting a lot of recommendations from them," Wiseman said. "But as far as talking to them, I haven’t."
The reason has gone unexplained. It remains unclear if this development happened because of the Timberwolves’ disinterest in him, or if Wiseman declined to host a workout for them in hopes of dissuading them from picking him.
But how would Wiseman react if Minnesota picked him after not viewing any of his workouts?
"I feel good with every team that picks me. I’m truly grateful for that," Wiseman said. "Whatever team that picks me, I’m going to go in there, learn as much as possible and work my tail off and want to win. I'm going to put my full effort, have fun and try to get better."
Gersson Rosas, Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, has maintained an open mind on trading or using the No. 1 pick. But he argued that the positional versatility of center Karl-Anthony Towns and guard D’Angelo Russell "gives us a lot of options." Instead of analyzing whether to target a wing (Georgia’s Anthony Edwards), a guard (LaMelo Ball) or a center (Wiseman), Rosas maintained he would pick the best player available.
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