The Golden State Warriors will have to do without their prized first-round pick for at least a week after an MRI revealed a sprain in rookie James Wiseman’s left wrist, the team announced on Monday.
Wiseman, who was taken No. 2 overall in this year’s draft, picked up the injury during Saturday’s 118-91 win over the Detroit Pistons. The 19-year-old will be re-evaluated after 7-10 days, at which point the Warriors will surely be hoping he’ll be ready to get back in the lineup.
Head coach Steve Kerr indicated that the center has been wearing a protective brace on the injured wrist over the past couple of days.
“It’s a bummer,” Kerr said about Wiseman’s injury. “But at least it’s not anything worse and he should be back in 10 days or so.”
Wiseman has started 16 of 20 games this season and has been putting up 12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game with a 50/40/62 shooting line. Because back-up center Marquese Chriss suffered a season-ending injury in December, Wiseman’s been even more important to the Dubs’ rotation than they were likely planning for the youngster to be.
The Memphis product has been coming off the bench over the past week after Kerr decided to swap him out of the starting lineup for veteran Kevon Looney. But Wiseman’s absence still leaves a big hole in the rotation that Kerr and his staff will have to figure out how to plug over the next one to two weeks.
That job starts on Tuesday night in a tough game against the Boston Celtics, who would be a perfect matchup for Wiseman considering their lack of a solid defender at the five. The Warriors are getting +115 NBA odds from 888sport on the moneyline for that contest.
“Obviously, we aren’t going to change the starting lineup. Loon will start. Eric [Paschall] will get his minutes at the five and we’ll go from there,” Kerr said with regards to his rotation sans Wiseman. “We can obviously play Draymond [Green] at the five. Juan [Toscano-Anderson] will be active and ready to roll. And we’ll mix and match and figure out what we’re going to do.”
Though Kerr seems optimistic about his situation at the five without Wiseman, against opponents with more dominant bigs than the Celtics, Golden State might have some issues in the paint without their young gun.