Scouting Report: James Wiseman

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Draft Lottery: Early Lottery
19.7PPG, 10.7 RPG, 0.3 APG, 3.0 BLK, 76.9 FG%, 70% FT

The Good:
Wiseman has great physical tools, with his 7’6 wingspan and elite athletic ability. Has the potential to be a dominant defensive presence/shot blocker for years to come. He is the prototypical center for today’s NBA, Wiseman can hold his own in P&R situations when asked to switch defensively and you must be aware of where he is when headed to the basket or you could be at risk of a weakside rejection. In three games this season opposing teams only shot 33% percent against the Tigers when Wiseman was on the floor.

Wiseman is an elite athlete and will score easy baskets simply by running hard in transition. Finishes very well around the rim and will likely be used in P&R situations as he looks to play above the rim. He has good fundamentals as a jump shooter, especially from mid-range. With more experience on the floor, he could turn into a real P&P threat. Wiseman is very effective on the glass, especially as an offensive rebounder with quick second jumps. He has shown the ability to create his shot in the post with fadeaways and jump hooks. Very raw as a low-post scorer but the potential is there.

The Bad:
Due to his suspension, Wiseman only played 69 total minutes in a total of three games. Lack of in-game experience will be noticeable early on and will likely need more preseason workouts to get himself in shape.  With only three games played, NBA teams way wonder if can he create his own shot efficiently/consistently. Wiseman has good touch around the rim but will need to improve in this area as his touch is not on the same level as players in this class such as Okongwu. He was able to dominate based on tools alone, as no players he played against had the tools to deny him on the offensive end. Must work on his passing ability, too often when the ball is in his hands he has tunnel vision and will miss open cutters or shooters.

He has the potential to be a game-changing defensive player, but often gets into foul trouble from getting caught in the air from pump fakes. He has a decent feel for the game despite his lack of experience. However, he seems rushed when using moves to score in the low-post and is not a natural passer. Going back to his AAU EYBL games as a rising senior and three collegiate games, Wiseman has never averaged over 0.7 APG. Will need to develop his overall basketball IQ and play within himself and not take bad shots. Right now Wiseman needs to get stronger and has a good frame that should allow him to add 15 pounds of muscle and not affect his explosiveness. His motor is really cold off the ball, if he isn’t the focal point of an offensive attack, he isn’t always motivated.

Overall: Wiseman is a mystery but that could play well for his draft stock. He has all the tools to be a future star big-man in this league, right now we have him going to the Golden State Warriors as the number one overall pick. This would be the ideal fit for him and will allow him to develop on and off the court. Wiseman would fix the Warriors problems for the next decade as they have been looking for an athletic skilled big-man for many years.

As a rookie in Golden State, Wiseman’s role would be very simple. P&R or P&P with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Run the floor, rebound at a high rate and become a defensive interior presence alongside Draymond Green. Finally, set good off-ball screens for shooters and play above the rim as a lob threat. The Warriors have one of the best organizations in the NBA and key veterans that can mentor him and show him how to be a pro. For Wiseman to fully unlock his potential, fit is key.

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