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HomeSportsPossible Free Agent Targets for Warriors After James Wiseman Setback

Possible Free Agent Targets for Warriors After James Wiseman Setback


Getty/Ezra Shaw

James WIseman of the Golden State Warriors is introduced to the starting lineup in a game against the Toronto Raptors at Chase Center in San Francisco.

The Warriors just can’t seem to buy a break.

After playing in three games for the G-League affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors, James Wiseman was shut down when he experienced knee swelling on the same knee that he went under the knife twice in almost a year.

With only about 10 games left in the regular season, Wiseman’s sophomore year could possibly be considered a wash. Just last week, Warriors GM Bob Myers hoped the big man could get about 10 games with the Dubs to get his feet wet, and possibly contribute in the postseason. Now with the big man shut down again, the hopes of him returning this season are getting slimmer as we get closer to the postseason.

Wiseman could have potentially been used in certain matchups, especially against the star big men. Now with Kevon Looney as the lone center, the team will have to be creative in regards to having more size on the court.

Before the March 20 game against the Spurs, Steve Kerr told the media that the front office was looking at different options after the unfortunate news of Wiseman’s injury.


Three Possible Free Agent Big Men Targets 

Andrew Bogut is a name many Warrior fans remember from the start of the premier winning years. He last played for the Dubs during the 2018-19 season in 11 games. After playing for the Sydney Kings of the NBL league in 2019-20, Bogut announced he was retiring from professional basketball citing numerous injuries. As Kerr mentioned, Bogut was not discussed as an option to make a third return to the Dubs.

However, there are several options out on the free agent market that could help provide suitable minutes backing up Looney.

Nine-year veteran Cody Zeller has had a serviceable career in the NBA with averages of 8.5 points, 6 rebounds, and 56.7% shooting from the field. He last played for Portland earlier this year, before getting subsequently waived after the CJ McCollum trade. His 6’11” height would make him the tallest player on a team that has been exclusively playing 6’9” Looney at the five.

The Dubs could opt to get younger and look at undrafted center Moses Brown. The UCLA Bruin just finished a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers on March 10, and is now a free agent available to sign with anyone. The three-year player stands 7’3” and has a nice polished offensive game around the rim. However, the biggest weakness with his game  would be protecting the rim.

The controversial center from Turkey, Enes Freedom, is another option that Warriors could consider. While he has been known more for his social justice remarks, and speaking out against oppressive regimes, the big man boosts averages of 11.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 748 career games. Over his career, he has widely been considered to be one of the elite offensive rebounds around the league. His knack for hunting down rebounds off misses could boost the undersized Dubs interior presence. One huge drawback in signing Kanter would be the possibility of China banning Warrior games from fans in the country because of Kanter.


Same Swelling That Forced Second Surgery

Wiseman needed a second arthroscopic knee surgery back in December 2021 after the rehab did not go as smoothly as the team would have liked. As Anthony Slater of the Athletic reported, swelling was the primarily reason he was forced to undergo this additional surgery.

Looking at what’s going on now, the swelling has returned and forced the Dubs to be cautiously conservative with their prized No. 2 pick. Even though the Dubs could really use his size in certain matchups, the team has elected to prioritize his long-term health rather than risk reinjuring an injury that is pretty serious, especially for someone who has taken such a long time with his rehab.

 



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