I have briefly watched James Wiseman through his High-School days, he has length and a smooth shooting touch which I liken to
Lamar Odom. James Wiseman is a lefty just like Lamar Odom and has a very similar body build. Lamar Odom shot that turn around mid-range jumper very often and was very versatile on the low block serving as a integral piece to Phil Jackson’s Triangle Offense when the Lakers went to 3 straight NBA Finals behind former Laker Legend Kobe Bryant. James Wiseman has said he watches a lot of Anthony Davis and Dirk Nowitzki which leads me to think he will be a 2 way player in the NBA, Dirk Nowitzki was never really known to be a 2 way Superstar but the Mavericks built well around Dirk Nowitzki and were perennial contenders for quite some time.
Watching the Hornets this season it seems like they have overachieved for the most part, no one saw this team winning 20 games except maybe me. I foresaw Graham becoming a starter, a player the Hornets developed through the G-League last season who has been dynamite ever since becoming a starter. The Hornets rank last in offense and lack a Franchise player, James Borrego has held every Hornet accountable which is why the Hornets are at 19 wins and it’s a stretch if they make the playoffs but they should be aiming to draft James Wiseman. Wiseman is currently not a for sure number 1 option but the Hornets lack a true Center, no offense to Cody Zeller but he is probably best off coming off the bench at this point. I think James Wiseman can come in and average 21 ppg with 11 rpg and 1-2 bpg his very first season if he puts in the work and comes in ready to play.
The Hornets already rank 13th in points allowed, adding Wiseman will only improve their defense. Malik Monk scored 25 points recently and should be kept going into next season because he can be a 6th man off the bench or if the Hornets want to start him at the 2 that could also be an option. Miles Bridges has not lived up to the expectations I had for him but he just scored 23 points last night in a win for the Hornets last night, the 9-23 shooting wasn’t terrific but the fact that he is taking that many shots shows me he will be one of the Hornets’ main scorers going forward into the future. PJ Washington was drafted last year and has been dealing with injuries but has been rather productive this season for a player not drafted in the Top 10. Undersized for a power-forward but seeing how ultra small the Rockets are going PJ Washington at the 4 alongside 7 footer Wiseman will do just fine.
Wiseman will be a for sure Top 3 pick and the Hornets currently sit in the 5-8 range on the the 2020 NBA Mock Draft, I don’t endorse tanking but what is the Hornets’ plan? The only way a small-market has a shot at competing in the NBA for anything of significance is through the draft. Look at the OKC with James Harden,Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook. The Warriors with Stephen Curry,Klay Thompson, and Draymmond Green. The Spurs with Duncan,Ginobili, and Parker who won 4 titles together. The plan is simple built through the draft, build a culture, and make yourself a desirable destination for Top Free Agents, it’s what the Warriors did and they built a dynasty which ran through a 5 year span. Not saying drafting James Wiseman will make the Hornets title contenders down the road but it is their only hope if they want to become relevant again.
The Hornets have 2 building blocks in PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, they need a 3rd and James Wiseman is that third. A lineup of Graham-Rozier-Bridges-Washington-Wiseman could be a 7th-8th seed next season in the East, it’s all a matter of building off that going into the following season. Bridges will only get better, PJ will only get better, and Wiseman will only get better. The Hornets brought in Mitch Kupchak who was fired by the Lakers and I think he is has done a great job with the hand dealt so far, I loved the PJ Washington pick and although he might never become a Superstar or All-NBA player he could become a reliable 4th option down the road. Miles Bridges looks like a 2nd option at best, Wiseman can become that 1st option. Rozier and Graham can be a first option any given night as well, I like what the Hornets would have if they can have a core of Graham,Rozier,Bridges,Wiseman, and PJ.
I know the 2020 NBA Draft has probably been the least spoken about draft in quite some time, I recall the draft Victor Oladipo being mediocre for the most part but you’ll always find hidden gems in every Draft. This draft is certainly top heavy, Mannion,Toppin,Wiseman,Edwards,LaMelo,Cole,and McDaniels all stand out to me as well as Deni Avdija who is severally underrated due to being an overseas prospect but as the Draft approaches I guess the casual NBA Fan won’t watch the NBA Draft. A true NBA Junkie will be checking in such as myself and I am rooting for the Hornets to get James Wiseman. I think he can anchor that Franchise going forward and give them the identity they lost the moment Kemba Walker decided to take his talents to Boston because he got tired of tread milling with the Hornets.
Kemba’s tenure in Charlotte reminds me of LeBron’s tenure in Cleveland at first, for years LeBron carried the Cavaliers but they were never bad enough to get top picks to build around LeBron and no free-agent wanted to come to Cleveland to play with LeBron. Kemba’s situation was a bit different, he never carried the Hornets to the NBA Finals like LeBron did 2007 and the East is probably a bit tougher now with Durant and Giannis around. If the Hornets don’t lose Kemba Walker though they don’t have the opportunity to draft James Wiseman, let’s be honest here the Hornets would’ve had to shell out much more than the $140 million Boston gave him and would not have much leverage with cap space. The Cody Zeller and Nicolas Batum contracts just make you want to hurl up in a ball and cry because both are massively overpaid and not producing up to the money they are being paid, no knock on them just sure Charlotte can’t wait till those 2 come off the books.
I know this article has been a review of the Charlotte Hornets with a mix of James Wiseman but the Hornets are in a Rebuild and it all consist of developing draft picks over the coarse of 2-3 years in hopes of building a playoff contender. The Hornets drafting Bridges and Washington isn’t the Thunder drafting Westbrook and Durant but anything is possible. It’s up to Bridges and Washington how good they want to be, as for Wiseman he likely has potential to be a Superstar just like Westbrook and Durant and the plan should be to get him in a Hornets uniform. When I think of the Hornets I think of Baron Davis,Jamaal Magloire,Jamal Mashburn,Larry Johnson,Muggsy Bogues, those were the good times. I think Wiseman has what it takes to become a Top 5 Center in the NBA, if any player will make this Draft look good it will be him.
To conclude James Wiseman has become a big mystery, he was a regular college student who had to come up with $11,000 dollars that is downright terrifying if you ask me. We haven’t got the chance to see him much in College but I saw enough from him in his first college game which showed me he won’t be a bust. He’s fluid on the low block and has a face up game with a go to mid-range jumper. His range out to the 3 point line is questionable but I believe he will be a knock down shooter from 15 feet a lot like Nowitzki and Garnett were through their lengthy NBA Careers. Warriors fans want him but that would be too much pressure for Wiseman in my opinion, the Warriors are looking to compete next season for a Title I don’t think Wiseman is ready to compete in the playoffs against Davis,Jokic,Giannis,Gobert,or Porzingis. He needs to play on the Hornets were the pressure is low and the sky is the limit, till next time.