With the NBA officially back on, it’s time to begin our NBA Draft prospect spotlight, starting with James Wiseman. The 7’1 big out of Memphis has the potential to become a major low-post presence in the NBA. We only got to see a little bit of Wiseman before he withdrew from play after a payment scandal that involved now Memphis coach Penny Hardaway. Let’s take a deep dive into what we have on Wiseman and see how he could translate into the NBA.
Strengths: Size, Strength, Athleticism
Again, there’s not much actual game footage to go off of. But there is enough there to clearly tell that Wiseman will find a good home in the NBA. Standing 7’1 with a 7’6 wingspan, Wiseman is a monster of a human being. He does a good job getting into position to rebound the ball and his length allows him to still grab the board if he makes a mistake. He’s also crazy athletic for his size. The ability to run the floor and keep up with guards means Wiseman will be in position for a lot of easy buckets, which is how he scores most of his points during his short lived college career.
Wiseman shows good footwork in the low post. Though solid post play is good, but the current trend in desirable NBA bigs could come back to bite Wiseman if he cannot adjust. There is also a hint of good defensive instincts. Good defense covers a multitude of sins, especially for a young talent like Wiseman.
Weaknesses: Scoring outside the paint, Playmaking
As previously mentioned, Wiseman’s current lack of outside scoring could hurt his longevity in the NBA. There is currently a movement that calls for bigs to be able to somewhat consistently hit the three. Alternatively, some teams have been running extremely small ball lineups. The time of the big could soon be coming to a close. Wiseman is still young enough to where his shot could develop. The best bigs right now can shoot and pass, both areas Wiseman is just average in. These areas have to improve if Wiseman wants to land a big contract beyond his rookie deal.
Overall, Wiseman is a good prospect that top NBA teams should defiantly consider. As of the current standings, I had Wiseman going No. 1 overall in our NBA Mock Draft to the Golden State Warriors. If James Wiseman can improve on his shooting and playmaking, then he has the potential to be an All-Star.