The Golden State Warriors are suddenly getting banged up (again) at a particularly inopportune time. With the team currently facing a stiff challenge in Ja Morant and the second-seeded Grizzlies, a pair of key players in Gary Payton II and Andre Iguodala are being forced to watch from the sidelines.
Where Iggy is concerned, there’s a level of optimism that he can return from a disc injury sooner rather than later. He’s currently slated to be re-evaluated in a week. Payton, however, could be out for an extended period with his elbow fracture.
Given those injuries, as well as the fact that the team is operating at a size deficit in the pivot, some have wondered whether Golden State might consider bringing James Wiseman back into the fold. The former No. 2 pick was shut down ahead of his expected return during the regular season when his post-meniscus tear rehab went awry.
Dubs coach Steve Kerr addressed the possibility after his team’s practice on Friday.
Kerr Reveals Final Call on Wiseman
During his post-practice media availability, Kerr was asked point-blank if the team would consider trying to get Wiseman back onto the court during postseason play. His answer left little doubt about the big man’s status going forward.
“Wiseman? No, no — he’s not gonna play,” Kerr said.
In other news, the sky: blue.
The 21-year-old last hit the court with the Warriors’ Santa Cruz-based G League affiliate in a March 15 game against the Agua Caliente Clippers. He had been assigned to the Sea Dubs as the final step in his return-to-play ramp-up following a lengthy, stop-and-start rehab process.
Ultimately, the team put the kibosh on Wiseman’s comeback when he experienced swelling in his surgically-repaired right knee.
Wiseman appeared in two games for Santa Cruz, averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 boards and two blocks per outing while connecting on 58.3% of his shot attempts. He hasn’t appeared in an actual NBA game since April of 2021.
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Former Warrior Comes Up Big in Game 1 of Aussie Grand Final
It has been a few years since Ian Clark has been a resident of the Bay Area, but the 2017 NBA champion could probably still pick up a free meal or two in his old stomping grounds. Right now, though, the six-year vet is living large in the Land Down Under and playing a major role in a potential title run.
Clark and the NBL’s Sydney Kings tipped off their Grand Final series against Tasmania JackJumpers on Friday with a 95-78 win to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
For his part, the former Warrior logged 25 minutes on the court and finished with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting while knocking down three of his four attempts from long range. The Kings are hoping he can continue to light it up as MVP Jaylen Adams suffered a hamstring injury during the third quarter and could miss time.
Clark and the Kings will be back in action with Game 2 against the JackJumpers on Sunday.