Warriors’ Steve Kerr: James Wiseman Has No Chance to Return from Injury This Season

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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr shot down the idea of center James Wiseman returning at some point during the playoffs.

According to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, Kerr said Friday that the Warriors aren’t considering bringing Wiseman back during the postseason no matter how deep of a run they make.

Wiseman has not played at all this season, and he was ruled out for the entirety of the 2021-22 campaign in March because of a knee injury.

After Golden State’s 2020-21 season ended, Wiseman underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee in April 2021.

The expectation was that Wiseman would be back at some point during the 2021-22 season, but he never suited up for the Warriors.

Wiseman did appear in three games for Golden State’s G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, in March, averaging 17.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

The 7-footer was shut down after experiencing swelling in his knee, however, and the decision was made to hold him out of the rest of the season.

The 21-year-old was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft out of Memphis. He seemed like a slam-dunk selection for the Warriors because of his athleticism and ability at a position of need.

Injuries limited Wiseman to 39 games as a rookie, but he played well when healthy, averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per contest while shooting 51.9 percent from the field.

After missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons on the heels of five consecutive NBA Finals appearances, the Warriors returned to the playoffs this season as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with a 53-29 record.

The return of Klay Thompson after missing two seasons because of injury played a huge role in Golden State’s success, as did Jordan Poole’s emergence and Stephen Curry’s continued excellence.

Wiseman was supposed to be a big part of the equation as well, but the Warriors have instead decided to take a cautious approach with their prized prospect.

As a result, Kerr will continue to lean heavily on Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, Nemanja Bjelica and Jonathan Kuminga as his top interior players.

Golden State is currently tied 1-1 in its second-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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