Bob Myers makes public hint to Steve Kerr on James Wiseman’s role with Warriors

    Jonathan Kuminga and Anthony Lamb served as de facto backup centers in Monday night’s much-needed victory over the Sacramento Kings, the biggest departure among the Golden State Warriors’ highly anticipated rotation changes following a winless five-game road trip. Steve Kerr quickly deviated from his pre-planned bench lineups after the reserves coughed up another early lead, though, making Draymond Green and Kevon Looney the Warriors’ full-time centers in the second half and leaving Kuminga on the bench entirely.

    Completely absent from that unexpected in-game of rotational musical chairs? James Wiseman, who notched his first DNP-CD of 2022-23 against Sacramento after serving as Golden State’s backup five in each of his team’s 10 prior regular season games.

    Taking Wiseman out of the lineup altogether, obviously, didn’t fix the sweeping issues that continue plaguing the Warriors’ reserves. Each non-starter was in the plus-minus red yet again on Monday, and Jordan Poole put forth his most dispiriting performance of a quietly underwhelming start to the season.

    Still, it speaks volumes of the coaching staff’s lack of trust in Wiseman that Golden State resorted to staggering the second-half minutes of Green and Looney on Monday. Kerr and company are clearly still searching for any answers up front behind their stalwart veteran starters.

    Bob Myers, for one, believes playing Wiseman is among them, even if it means sacrificing short-term effectiveness for long-term payoff.

    “I would say that James needs to play. And Steve’s trying to figure out how to do that,” Myers told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic after the game. “We’ve seen the growth over the last few months, preseason, start of the season, then he hit a little rut the last few games. But we’re not ready to get super-concerned. We just think he needs to play. Steve believes in him; we believe in him.”

    Kerr, to be clear, has gone out of his way since the summer to be outwardly complementary of Wiseman. He did the same last weekend while hinting at the third-year big man’s imminent demotion, lauding Wiseman’s recent development and overall approach while insisting the Warriors “need to help him” get more comfortable on the floor.

    Barring Wiseman suddenly living up to pre-draft hype of two-way stardom, though, it’s not like this current turn of events was tough to see coming.

    Much of the feel and experience-related deficiencies that made Wiseman an abject negative as a rookie were still on display at Las Vegas Summer League in July. He showed real progress during exhibition play, but it’s always folly to draw meaningful conclusions from preseason games. With Green, Looney and JaMychal Green in the fold, Wiseman’s path to permanent playing time—let alone a nightly rotation role come the playoffs—in 2022-23 was always bound to be rocky.

    Don’t anticipate Kerr buckling under organizational pressure to give Wiseman more burn going forward. He and Myers have an extremely close working relationship; what’s said between them behind closed doors looms far larger than anything either utters in public. Myers knows his team can’t afford to let Wiseman play through growing pains while falling toward the bottom of the Western Conference in the season’s early going.

    Also like Kerr, Golden State’s chief decision-maker remains a firm believer in Wiseman’s long-term potential, too.

    “James’ journey will be fine,” Myers said. “I can’t tell you when it’ll all come together. But I am not worried. Because his approach gives us a lot of confidence. It should give him confidence.”

    Let’s hope Wiseman heeds that last bit of advice no matter where his role goes from here.

    [Tim Kawakami, The Athletic]

    The post Bob Myers makes public hint to Steve Kerr on James Wiseman’s role with Warriors appeared first on ClutchPoints.

    This content was originally published here.

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