SAN FRANCISCO — Fresh from the NBA Championship, the Warriors are anticipating this will be a big summer for some of their smaller pieces that have been pegged for the organization’s future.
James Wiseman, Jonathan Cuminga and Moses Moody are all expected to play in the Summer League next month, general manager Bob Myers said on Wednesday. Barring any setbacks, it will be the first time Wiseman sees sports action since his stint with the team’s G League colleague in Santa Cruz in March, before he was diagnosed with persistent swelling in his surgically repaired knee. The reason was closed for the season.
It is unclear whether the trio will play together or will be kept separate between the two halves of the summer schedule. The Warriors are set to host the California Classic at the Chase Center on July 2 and 3, with games against the Lakers and Kings ahead of the Las Vegas Summer League, which runs from July 7-17.
Wiseman had previously said there was a 90% chance he would play in off-season competition and that his health was headed in the right direction. He worked out Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and coach Steve Kerr said he was “getting along well.”
“It’s been a big summer for James, and the good news is he’s doing really well,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Added Myers, “He’s gonna scuffle with our guys. He’s going to start doing live stuff. All signs are good.”
Wiseman has made only 39 NBA games in 2020 overall and has not played any since April 10, 2021 due to a meniscus tear in his right knee. Wiseman was expected to return in time for training camp, but setbacks prolonged his rehabilitation process. She has since undergone two additional procedures in London in April, including an orthobiolic injection into her arm, which is believed to promote healing throughout her body.
Wiseman said on Saturday that he has not had any swelling in his knee since then. Kerr said Wiseman’s health is a top priority, but the Warriors coach is eager to evaluate the 7-foot center in five-on-five competition.
“Going forward, with his talent, with his size and athleticism, there’s no reason he can’t be a major defensive player in the league, but it takes a lot of rep, it takes a lot of recognition, It takes a lot of it being on the court with nine other people, not just in a one-on-one workout or in the weight room,” Kerr said. “Hopefully — knock on the wood — hopefully he gets healthy and starts putting those reps together and developing into a good defensive center. That would be the idea. You see how talented he is offensively He’s a lobe threat. He’s a good shooter. That’s all for him.
“But he needs a break. He needs a few things health-wise, and as I said, so far, so good, and we are hoping that things keep getting better.”
As for Cuminga and Moody, the extra games this season will give them more time to hone their skills. Kuminga started 12 games last season and played in 70, averaging 9.3 points on 51.3% shooting and 3.3 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Moody started 11 of his 52 games and averaged 4.4 points on 43.7% shooting.
Myers said Cuminga, Moody and Wiseman will have the opportunity to play rotational minutes next season “if they earn it.”
“Hopefully we’ll be ready for training camp, and Steve will definitely take a long look at James,” Myers said. “If those guys earned it and they can help us win, I think Steve will play them.”
the hunt is on
The Warriors are grateful that Kenny Atkinson left a head coaching job with the Charlotte Hornets to remain on Kerr’s staff. But winning the title wasn’t enough to take Mike Brown away from the opportunity to take over the reins of the Sacramento Kings.
Myers and Kerr have voiced their support for the Browns, but his departure marks a start on the Warriors’ bench.
Kerr said his team is “kind of right in the middle of discussions” about how they want to proceed with the search, and “nothing has been decided yet.”
Myers said the Warriors “prefer” to fill it in with an internal candidate, possibly promoting a coach from the team’s G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, though the Warriors’ top executive also denied the prospect of bringing in new perspective. did not deny. outside the organization.
“We don’t do everything perfectly,” Myers said. “It’s always nice to find someone like Kenny who was a head coach but coached a lot of other places under some good coaches and looked at things differently. We realized that when we hired him last year So we needed some new voices.
Iggy’s big decision
After missing most of the regular season and the playoffs with a laundry list of injuries, Andre Iguodala is still considering whether he wants to play next season.
“I don’t know if Andre is done,” Myers said. “He’s got a lot going on outside of basketball, but I think he enjoyed the year. He’s seen everything now, so whatever he decides, I believe he must have been considered. But I don’t know the answer. He will probably send some cryptic tweets.”
Igodala, 38, was praised for his leadership throughout the season, despite being sidelined for almost a month with a neck injury. Now the four-time champion, who led the parade on Monday in the first bus, the Warriors’ big three are highly respected, but can also connect with younger players and serve as an invaluable mentor.
Both Myers and Kerr said they would welcome them with open arms if they chose to return for one last storm.
“It’s never an easy thing to retire and walk away from the sport you love,” Kerr said. “It’s a really big decision for him.”