While waiting to hear from Minnesota Timberwolves, James Wiseman says playing for Golden State Warriors ‘would be great’


Former Memphis big man James Wiseman said he has not spoken to the Minnesota Timberwolves in advance of Wednesday night’s NBA draft. The acknowledgement is notable because the Timberwolves have the first pick in the draft, and Wiseman is expected to be one of the first players selected.

Wiseman said during a Monday conference call with reporters that the only two teams he has worked out for in person are the Golden State Warriors, who have the No. 2 pick, and the Charlotte Hornets, who have the No. 3 pick.

“I haven’t [talked to the Timberwolves],” Wiseman said. “But I’ve been getting a lot of recommendations from them. In terms of talking to them, I haven’t.”

A source previously told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony that Wiseman views situations with the Warriors and Hornets as more favorable to his long-term growth, as opposed to joining a Minnesota team that already has All-Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns.

“I would feel good, whatever team that picks me, I’m truly grateful for that,” Wiseman said, when asked about the possibility that the Timberwolves select him even though the two sides haven’t been communicating. “Whatever team that picks me, I’m going to go in there, learn as much as possible, work my tail off, and just want to win.”

Wiseman repeatedly deflected questions when asked about playing for specific teams, but he did admit at the end of his call that he would enjoy playing in the Warriors system if Golden State selects him with the second pick.

The Warriors have been speculated as a possible landing spot for Wiseman in recent weeks given their need for more depth at center around a lineup that already features prior All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

“It would be great because they won a lot of championships, so just being in that type of tradition, 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, and just learning under Steph and Klay would be a great situation for me to be in. So, I feel that being in that type of situation would be great for me.”

Wiseman played just three games for the Memphis Tigers last season before leaving school amid an eligibility battle with the NCAA. Despite his early exit from school, Wiseman said he still has close relationships with many teammates and coaches in the Memphis program — and he remains confident that his skills will translate to the league when the time comes.

“I feel like any team that needs a center, I can be able to provide,” Wiseman said. “Just run the floor, blocking shots, and really just use my versatility that I’ve been working on … just being able to guard one through five.”



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