James Wiseman Rumors

Green was recently on ESPN’s “Jalen and Jacoby” and said he thought Wiseman could thrive in Golden State’s system, but then owned up to the fact he has hasn’t seen Wiseman play a lot (nobody has, he only played three games at Memphis). Hat tip NBC Sports Bay Area. “I’ve seen some clips of his workouts and highlights, and he looks to be pretty mobile, a pretty athletic guy,” Green said Tuesday. “So with our speed and pace, the way we play, I think he would definitely be a great add if that’s case, but I don’t really know what pick we’re going to get or what pick he’s going to go. I’m a living testament to that. You never know how the draft is going to go and how the cards may fall.”

Draymond Green: 'Wiseman would be a great add'

Could Wiseman be a match for the Warriors if they hold on to their top-5 draft pick? Draymond Green believes so, though he admitted on ESPN’s “Jalen and Jacoby” that he hasn’t seen a lot of Wiseman — in fairness none of us have. “I’ve seen some clips of his workouts and highlights, and he looks to be pretty mobile, a pretty athletic guy,” Green said Tuesday. “So with our speed and pace, the way we play, I think he would definitely be a great add if that’s case, but I don’t really know what pick we’re going to get or what pick he’s going to go. I’m a living testament to that. You never know how the draft is going to go and how the cards may fall.”

James Wiseman the frontrunner for the No. 1 pick

In an anonymous poll of 35 NBA executives conducted by Stadium, James Wiseman has emerged as the frontrunner for the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. The 7-foot-1 center, who played just three games at Memphis this past season prior to withdrawing from school amidst an NCAA suspension, received 20 of the 35 votes (57 percent). “I wouldn’t even want the No. 1 pick,” one NBA general manager told me. “If I have it, I’m trying like hell to trade it.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 408 more rumors

Though the Warriors are higher on USC big man Onyeka Okongwu than Wiseman, a league source told The Chronicle that they are unlikely to use a top-5 pick on Okongwu — especially when they’re not sure he’d be ahead of Chriss on the depth chart. Odds are that, if Golden State traded down into the mid- to late-lottery, Okongwu wouldn’t be available.
Believe it or not, the Warriors are actually higher on Southern Cal’s Okongwu than James Wiseman. If they end up taking a big man in the top five, it’ll almost definitely be the 6-foot-9 Okongwu. His game is well-suited for the Warriors’ style. Unlike Wiseman, Okongwu can shuttle between multiple positions with ease. Believe it or not, the Warriors are actually higher on Southern Cal’s Okongwu than James Wiseman. If they end up taking a big man in the top five, it’ll almost definitely be the 6-foot-9 Okongwu. His game is well-suited for the Warriors’ style. Unlike Wiseman, Okongwu can shuttle between multiple positions with ease. Hayes is also extremely left-hand dominant, which is a concern of some scouts and not of some others. I tend to be in the latter camp — John Stockton had a 20-year career as an all-time great NBA point guard and took maybe four dribbles with his left hand — but I could see how overplays could become a problem for him.
Believe it or not, the Warriors are actually higher on Southern Cal’s Okongwu than James Wiseman. If they end up taking a big man in the top five, it’ll almost definitely be the 6-foot-9 Okongwu. His game is well-suited for the Warriors’ style. Unlike Wiseman, Okongwu can shuttle between multiple positions with ease. Believe it or not, the Warriors are actually higher on Southern Cal’s Okongwu than James Wiseman. If they end up taking a big man in the top five, it’ll almost definitely be the 6-foot-9 Okongwu. His game is well-suited for the Warriors’ style. Unlike Wiseman, Okongwu can shuttle between multiple positions with ease. Hayes is also extremely left-hand dominant, which is a concern of some scouts and not of some others. I tend to be in the latter camp — John Stockton had a 20-year career as an all-time great NBA point guard and took maybe four dribbles with his left hand — but I could see how overplays could become a problem for him.
One big man who has No. 1 pick potential—Memphis freshman center James Wiseman—played only three games last season. Rather than wait out a 12-game suspension imposed by the NCAA because three years ago his mother accepted $11,500 from Penny Hardaway—whom the NCAA deemed a Memphis booster then, though he is the Tigers head coach now—the 7’1″ Wiseman opted to simply leave school. A league source said the Warriors have Wiseman at the top of their draft board; understandable considering forward Dragan Bender, a late-season addition via two 10-day contracts, is the only 7-footer on the roster and 6’9″ Kevon Looney is the only listed center. But none of the executives surveyed put Wiseman in the category of Dwight Howard or even Deandre Ayton, big men capable of playing a significant role on Day 1.
“Does Wiseman change the game for them, the way they play?” the lower-level Eastern Conference talent evaluator asks. “No. He doesn’t play hard enough. But he makes sense. They don’t need him to be great. If he goes some place and has to be Trae [Young] or Ja [Morant], he’s not that. But if [the Warriors’] top four are back, he can be Harrison Barnes, a good fifth player.” All this, of course, is assuming Curry and Thompson come back healthy. One Western Conference VP added Looney’s health as a prerequisite for renewed title contention as well. Looney has made only 20 appearances this season due to an assortment of injuries, but he is one of only four players with playoff experience or a championship ring on the current roster. “His health is important,” he says.
Most executives currently expect the first three prospects to come off the board to be Georgia wing Anthony Edwards, Illawarra guard LaMelo Ball, and Memphis center James Wiseman. But it’s too early to say where each prospect will go when opinions vary so greatly. I’ve spoken with NBA executives who have Wiseman first, and others who have him ranked outside of the top 10. Edwards has been labeled a boom-or-bust prospect. And I’ve heard LaMelo called both “underrated” and “overrated” because of his family’s last name. Hayes also has his skeptics.

Dubs not interested in LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman

The NBA draft lottery won’t be held until May 19 at the earliest, but the Warriors are on track to select no later than fifth. According to multiple league sources The Chronicle contacted in the past few days, the Warriors — contrary to what mock drafts might suggest — aren’t believed to be high on two of the three players being mentioned as possibilities at the No. 1 pick: former Memphis center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League. As one source put it, “I think they’d only take one of those two if they were trading down in the draft and taking them for another team.”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 408 more rumors
It’s not as if the top-rated talent—prospects such as Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman—won’t still be among the first half-dozen players taken, but the exact order at the top, along with decisions made throughout the draft, could be based more on actual performance than perceived potential this year. “This is a basketball person’s draft, based on actual basketball play,” the front-office executive says. “The high-ranking decision-makers who have been working all year aren’t going to miss a beat. It’s going to expose the GMs who were flying around with their teams staying in Four Seasons rather than going [to scout] in Dayton, Ohio, and staying at the Courtyard Marriott. If there are no more data points coming in, they’re screwed.”
The NCAA suspended Wiseman 12 games early this season because the former five-star recruit’s family received $11,500 from former Memphis player and current Tigers coach Hardaway to assist in a move from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017. Though Hardaway wasn’t Memphis’ coach at the time, the NCAA ruled the payment wasn’t allowed because he was a booster for the program. The former NBA All-Star gave $1 million in 2008 to his alma mater for the university’s sports hall of fame.
In his first interview since leaving school to turn professional, Wiseman told ESPN that he cried every night in his dormitory room during the turbulent episode with the NCAA, ultimately leaving school amid a 12-game suspension for rules violations that Wiseman insists he hadn’t been aware occurred. “I was really in the middle of a hurricane,” Wiseman told ESPN in an interview that aired Friday. “That’s like the worst place you could possibly be. Just having the mental agony and the suffering, crying every night because I just wanted to get on the court so much.”
Wiseman signed with Excel Sports for his professional representation and remains a strong possibility to become the No. 1 overall pick. “I wanted to have a great collegiate career,” Wiseman told ESPN. “I wanted to win a national championship. But throughout the course of the first two games, everything started to go down in terms of my mental [well-being]. I was getting depressed. It was dehumanizing for me.”
Wiseman cited an inability to pay back the $11,500 and the threat of potential injury as reasons for ending his college career prematurely. “It was a bit surreal because I couldn’t use a GoFundMe page that [ESPN’s] Jay Williams put out for me, obviously,” Wiseman told ESPN. “I couldn’t use any outside sources. I had to get [the money] on my own, and that was pretty impossible because I didn’t have the money. I was just a regular college student.”
Storyline: No. 1 pick

Storyline: No. 1 pick
Sources additionally tell The Athletic that even though this decision is happening at the end of a semester, Wiseman is not in any academic strife. He also was not in danger of having his NCAA suspension extended for any reason. There are no injury issues either, and of course, by leaving school early he greatly reduces the chance of something happening before draft day. This was a personal decision by Wiseman and his family, not one borne out of the necessity of circumstances.
Matt Babcock, owner of Babcock Hoops and a former NBA agent, told The Commercial Appeal that Wiseman having to sit out one-third of Memphis’ regular season isn’t all that significant from an NBA draft standpoint. “It’s not like he’s a guy that just has a lot of upside with a lot of polishing to do. He’s ready to play in the NBA right now,” Babcock said. “Not that he doesn’t have room for growth. He does. (But) I think it’s more of just he’s being robbed of the experience.” Babcock believes Wiseman (who is tied with North Carolina’s Cole Anthony as FanDuel Sportsbook’s odds-on favorite to be picked first) is worthy of No. 1-pick status. But the games he will miss could also cost him the opportunity to cement himself as such.
Storyline: No. 1 pick
So, does LaMelo Ball believe he should be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft? “Most definitely. I believe in myself and I’ve worked hard to get here,” Ball told Yahoo Sports. “The other guys at the top of the draft, James [Wiseman] and Anthony [Edwards], are very talented too. But just in the way I believe in myself, I think I’m the top pick.”
Storyline: No. 1 pick
In NBA circles, not much of a consensus has formed with regard to the top spot. A strong performance from Anthony Edwards at the Maui Invitational certainly bolstered the Georgia guard’s case. While Memphis center James Wiseman remains suspended until January, teams in dire need of a big will look at him closely. Both are very much in the running, and the general feeling about the top of the draft remains lukewarm. As one Eastern Conference executive put it: “We can only draft what’s there.” And as December begins, the situation is legitimately still evolving, in dire contrast to last season, when it took approximately a week for Zion Williamson to make things easy for everybody.
David West is pissed off at the NCAA over James Wiseman’s punishment … telling TMZ Sports the org. should be giving young players opportunities, not taking them away. The Memphis superstar just got slapped with a 12-game suspension and $11,500 fine after the NCAA determined he accepted a loan of the same amount from Penny Hardaway in 2017 — before he took over at UM. We broke the news of the ruling to West outside Chin Chin in LA on Wednesday … and he disagrees with the move. “I’m not a fan of the NCAA, so I don’t think he should’ve been suspended,” West says. “The kid deserves opportunities. Period. I’m always gonna be in favor of the kid.”
As NBA executives flock to college games to evaluate talent, the NCAA campaign so far has been overshadowed by the eligibility questions surrounding Memphis forward/center James Wiseman, the potential No. 1 overall pick in next June’s draft. Scouts and others would love to see him play, but NBA executives have told The Athletic that Wiseman’s draft stock is solidified from a talent perspective and that there is no sense he will fall out of the lottery picks, even should he miss the rest of the season. “Will him sitting the year impact him a spot or two? Maybe,” one high-ranking team official said. “But it isn’t impacting his financial base. He is known as a talent.”
The NCAA has officially addressed the situation, releasing its own statement on Friday evening in response to Memphis’ decision to let Wiseman play after being notified that he was “likely ineligible.” “The University of Memphis was notified that James Wiseman is likely ineligible,” the statement read. “The university chose to play him and ultimately is responsible for ensuring its student-athletes are eligible to play.”
Storyline: No. 1 pick
In a statement, NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said of interest in Wiseman: “Potentially, but it hasn’t even been a discussion yet. These decisions require a lot of due diligence on both sides to ensure it’s in everyone’s best interests. He’s exceptionally talented and of course we’d be interested, but honestly we haven’t even had a conversation with him or his family. I have no idea yet as to whether or not it would suit his plans, his personality or his aspirations.”