James Wiseman's Return From Injury A 'Factor' To Warriors' Buyout Approach, Says Coach Steve Kerr

James Wiseman practicing his shooting
Getty | Justin Ford

JB Baruelo

Since he suffered an injury last season, the Golden State Warriors have been patiently waiting for James Wiseman to return to the court. Wiseman was expected to rejoin the team earlier in the 2021-22 NBA season, but his return was delayed and it was recently revealed that he underwent a second surgery in December.

As of now, Wiseman has already missed 59 regular-season games. However, though the Warriors are yet to give an official date for his return, Wiseman is already showing a massive improvement in his rehabilitation.

James Wiseman's Return Impacts Warriors' Roster Moves

James Wiseman sitting on the bench
Getty | Justin Ford

On Tuesday, Wiseman participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage which was a major sign that he would be rejoining the Warriors soon. In a recent interview with KNBR, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr revealed that Wiseman's nearing return will be a "factor" in how they will approach the buyout market.

"I think it's definitely a factor knowing that James is potentially coming back at some point," Kerr said. "That has to factor in because it's not like the buyout market is filled with great big men. It just doesn't work that way. Big men are tough to come by, and he's a really skilled, talented big guy who can provide instant energy when he is out there. He is more likely to help us than someone on the buyout market."

Warriors Need Frontcourt Help

James Wiseman hugging the ball
Getty | Ezra Shaw

The Warriors may have managed to survive in the first half of the 2021-22 NBA season with Kevon Looney as their starting center but recently, one of their major weaknesses was exposed. Since the start of the year, the Warriors only ranked 14th in offensive rebounding percentage and 17th in defensive rebounding percentage which are clear indications that they need more help in their frontcourt.

However, despite numerous calls for them to add a quality big man, the Warriors still chose to stand pat at the 2022 NBA trade deadline. Kerr's statements confirmed that the Warriors are trusting Wiseman to address their rebounding concerns.

Coach Steve Kerr Asks Not To Exaggerate Expectations For James Wiseman

Steve Kerr coaching James Wiseman
Getty | Ezra Shaw

Though he also didn't mention when Wiseman will play in the 2021-22 NBA season, Kerr said that the former No. 2 pick "looked good" in the 5-on-5 scrimmage. Kerr believes that if Wiseman can stay healthy, he has a bright future in the league. However, he asked fans and critics not to exaggerate their expectations for Wiseman when he officially returns to the court.

Wiseman may be considered as one of the most promising big men in the league, but Kerr said that he needs to gain more experience and learn plenty of things to make himself successful in the NBA.

"For a young guy like James, who has three games of college experience, no summer league and still hasn't had a training camp, that'sa lot to ask," Kerr said. "So, I have no doubt he is going to be a hell of a player but it's just going to take time."