Pistons James Wiseman embraces opportunity given in Detroit to “just develop and grow”

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After being chosen as the No.2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, it’s been quite a scarce professional career for James Wiseman, who has been determined to proving his worth ever since he started out in the league. Now that the Pistons decided to give him a chance, he is more than happy to have a court to show what he does best. 

“I’ve been through a lot my whole NBA career. It felt good to get five days so I could just chill and relax and get back to it,” Wiseman said after the All-Star break, as he’s already played three games with Detroit. “I was kind of happy because I was going through a lot mentally.”

Now in hindsight, there is no doubt it was a poor decision to sign for the Warriors back in 2020, as he was given very few chances to show his worth. Golden State management thought he would fit in as both Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry had both suffered injuries and would be out for most of that first season, but just as they returned the 21-year-old was always absent.

The Pistons, on the other hand, usually have a good eye for future stars, and are in a position to be able to assure the prospect important regularity and maybe even, build the team around them.

“He is a big-time lob threat. Unbelievable lob threat,” coach Dwayne Casey said. “Long, rim protector. Playing for a champion, they couldn’t allow him to make the mistakes we’re allowing (Jalen) Duren to make right now. He didn’t have a real opportunity in real time as much as he wanted to at Golden State.”

It’s as simple as the fact that the Detroit management couldn’t pass the opportunity of not signing a regarded young talent such as Wiseman, even as they already possess great prospects like Isaiah Stewart, Marvin Bagley III or of course, Duren.

As the roster has been suffering some injuries, just like Stewart’s hip issue or Duren’s lingering ankle soreness, all the new center signing really wants is minutes on court.

“When I was at Golden State, it was kind of hard for me because they already had a really core base group. They already had (Kevon) Looney, Klay (Thompson), Steph (Curry) and Draymond (Green), so it was hard for the young players to grow and go out there and play and get the reps. Being here, I can grow into the player I want to become,” Wiseman reminisces on the past in the Bay Area. Now all he wants is to “just develop and grow.”

Head coach Casey knows this, and has already deciphered exactly what he can get out of the 21-year-old on court for his team. “He’s a willing learner, he’s a gym rat and that’s something that, really, I didn’t know how good a student he was going to be.”, Casey assured. “He’s a raw sponge.”

You’d think Wiseman is in a hurry to make up for lost time, but it seems his latest disappointments have earned him a more mature mentality, in which he understands how patience is key to a long succesful career.

“In terms of my overall NBA career, it’s going to take time. I’m a big, so it’s going to take a lot of time, but I’m confident in myself,” he said. “I know I can become that. I’m going to just keep working. I work hard. I come here late nights, work on my game, so I’m going to get there. It just takes reps.”