AN FRANCISCO — Moses Moody’s first game in the 2022 California Classic was going to steal the show Sunday night at Chase Center when the Warriors played the Los Angeles Lakers in a summer league game. Earlier in the day, something just as important happened behind closed doors. S
On their home court, some Warriors summer league players and even coaches were moving around late before the game started. Why? James Wiseman and a few other players were doing a 5-on-5 scrimmage, which was a way for some players to warm up.
Warriors California Classic coach Seth Cooper told reporters, “James was able to do that, and it looked great.” “That was a pretty exciting day for James. I was on the court for some of that, but from what I heard, it went well and he looked great.”
Sunday was the first time in this Ramping Up 2.0 that Wiseman played a real 5-on-5 game up and down the court.
Wiseman still won’t play in Tuesday’s final California Classic game for the Warriors, but his latest good news keeps him on track to play in the Las Vegas Summer League, which would be his first summer league game despite being in his third season.
Cooper said, “Yeah, I think that’s the plan.” “I haven’t heard either way, but I know that today was a good step and that he played well.”
It’s still not clear if that will happen at the beginning, middle, or end of the Warriors’ time in Las Vegas. The Warriors will leave for Las Vegas after their last game in the California Classic on Tuesday. On Friday night, they will play their first game in Las Vegas. Patrick Baldwin Jr. was the top pick in last month’s draught by the Warriors. On Sunday, he did shooting drills and could still play in Vegas. The same is true for Jonathan Kuminga, who is going to Vegas to meet up with his team.
A smiley Wiseman was in a good mood when he met with reporters last Wednesday. He has every reason to be.
After missing his entire second season in the NBA, the 21-year-old is on track to soon be back on the court and show why he was the No. 2 pick in the draught two years ago.
On June 29, Wiseman said, “Today felt great.” “I’m happy to be out there with the guys and just about everything else. I’m speechless. I’m glad to be able to play again.”
Wiseman hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 10, 2021, when a torn meniscus put an end to his rookie season. This past season, Wiseman’s return was delayed by problems, and after three G League games, the Warriors kept him out for the rest of the season because his knee was swelling.
During the offseason, they re-signed center Kevon Looney to a three-year, $25.5 million deal. Anthony Slater of The Athletic also said that only $3 million of Looney’s third-year salary is guaranteed. If Wiseman stays healthy, he is seen as the future of the position for the Warriors. The two also have very different sets of skills that can work well together.
As soon as possible is best.
Everyone knows that this summer is a big one for Wiseman. The Warriors have until Oct. 31 to decide if they want to pay him $12.1 million to play for them again in 2023–24. If not, the big man will be a free agent with no ties in 2023. Golden State has put too much into Wiseman to get rid of him so quickly, and a lot would have to keep going wrong for that to happen.
Right now, he needs the luck to go his way. Sunday gave Wiseman and the Warriors another reason to be happy.
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