James Wiseman says he worked out for Warriors, Hornets, not Timberwolves

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A week ago, there was some smoke being blown that Minnesota might draft big man James Wiseman with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Wiseman all but shot that down on Monday, saying he has never worked out for the Timberwolves.

“Golden State and Charlotte were the teams that stayed in contact throughout [the draft process]…” Wiseman said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “I’ve been getting a lot of recommendations from [the Timberwolves]. In terms of talking to them, I haven’t.”

Reports had circulated previously that Wiseman — a 7-foot center out of Memphis — didn’t want to play for Minnesota because they already have Karl-Anthony Towns on the roster. Part of him not working out for Minnesota could be an extension of that, but it sounds like the Timberwolves are looking elsewhere (and would be happy to trade the pick).

Good on Wiseman for being up front about that and not playing the smokescreen game every team and agent participates in this time of year.

As all top draft picks have been coached to say by their agents, Wiseman insisted he does not care where he plays.

“I would feel good, whatever team that picks me…” Wiseman said. “I’m going to go in there, learn as much as possible, work my tail off, and just want to win.”

However, later in the conversation he sounded interested in Golden State.

“It would be great because they’ve won a lot of championships, Wiseman said. “So just being in that type of tradition, being in that type of environment, would be great for me. It would create an extra push of maturity, learning under Steph and Klay.”

As discussed in the PBT Podcast this week, James Wiseman’s best fit may be Golden State, even if he cannot help them next season. At 7’0″ with a 7’6″ wingspan, he has a quality pick-setting rim-runner on offense who can space the floor a little, and on defense be a strong rim protector. One of the reported challenges with Wiseman is he doesn’t necessarily want to fill that role; he wants to get the ball 18 feet out, face up, and make moves. He wants to be more of the focal point of the offense. With some teams that might be their best option, but imagine what Draymond Green will say to him the first time Wiseman does that and doesn’t move the ball on to Klay Thompson in the corner.

Wiseman may not end up with the Warriors but he will be drafted in the top three on Wednesday night, there is no chance he slides past Charlotte at No. 3. Whether another team trades up to get him has been part of the intrigue, but it appears he has not worked out for any of them — just the Warriors and Hornets.