The Warriors will start rookie James Wiseman at center in Tuesday night’s season opener at Brooklyn, a league source confirmed with the Bay Area News Group.
This move signals just how much confidence the Warriors have in Wiseman, who has not played an organized game in 13 months and missed all of preseason after testing positive for the coronavirus.
But after impressing in a pair of recent scrimmages, head coach Steve Kerr decided Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in last month’s draft, was Golden State’s best option to anchor an interior defense that gave up an average of 51.3 points in the paint in three preseason games.
Though Wiseman is still raw offensively, he will be asked to play a simple rim-running role and run the floor with the energy he showed in practices last week. Wiseman’s stints will be limited to five or six minutes each.
His NBA debut comes in a nationally-televised matchup against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets.
Wiseman will start Tuesday alongside point guard Stephen Curry, wings Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins, and power forward Eric Paschall. Draymond Green is ruled out with a right foot injury.