The Golden State Warriors Just Got a Significant Update About Their $8.73 Million Star

The Golden State Warriors are in an interesting spot in the Western Conference playoff standings. They would technically be in the playoffs if the season were to end today, but just a couple of losses can knock them out of the top eight entirely. However, Golden State Warriors fans recently received some good news about one of their team’s star players. That star Warriors player is the $8.73 million rookie James Wiseman.

James Wiseman has missed time with the Warriors due to injury

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The Golden State Warriors selected James Wiseman with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft this past offseason. Wiseman, who is making $8.73 million with the Warriors this season, has played pretty well in his rookie year, too.

Through 20 games, Wiseman is averaging 12.2 points per game to go with 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. He is also shooting 50.3% from the field. Wiseman has had some pretty big games for the Warriors, too, as he scored 25 points and pulled down six rebounds in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also recorded 15 points and eight rebounds in a game against the New York Knicks.

Wiseman, though, has missed the last eight games with a sprained wrist, per USA Today’s Warriors Wire. The Warriors have ultimately gone 4-4 in those games.

However, Golden State just got a significant update about its young star.

James Wiseman says he will return to the court for the Warriors soon

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The Golden State Warriors have been pretty thin in terms of the players they have available down low recently. According to USA Today’s Warriors Wire, Kevon Looney has also missed some time due to injury.

The Warriors could finally get their star big man back soon, though.

According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Wiseman recently said he thinks that he will return for the Warriors soon.

“Pain and inflammation in the left wrist is subsiding,” Slater reported via Twitter. “Won’t play against the Heat [on Feb. 17], but does sound like the upcoming road trip is a real possibility.”

Additionally, Warriors Wire reported that Wiseman will get his wrist reevaluated on Feb. 18 after going through the non-contact portion of practice on Tuesday.

If Wiseman can return during the Warriors’ upcoming road trip, he can help the team’s playoff outlook tremendously going into the season’s half-way point. This is because Golden State has some winnable games coming up. During their road trip, the Warriors will face the Orlando Magic (10-18), Charlotte Hornets (13-15), New York Knicks (14-15), and Indiana Pacers (14-14).

These games could ultimately be crucial to the Warriors’ season.

The Golden State Warriors have a solid chance of making the playoffs

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James Wiseman returning and potentially helping the Warriors win games during this stretch can be huge for the team’s season.

Golden State is currently in eighth place in the Western Conference and just one-and-a-half games ahead of the ninth-place Memphis Grizzlies. They are also just a half-game behind the seventh-place Denver Nuggets and one-and-a-half games behind the sixth-place San Antonio Spurs. Winning can potentially move them all the way up to sixth place, but losing could drop them out the top eight entirely.

The Warriors certainly need some help in terms of post players, too. With Wiseman out, Eric Paschall is the team’s best scoring power forward/center, and he is only 6 feet, 6 inches tall, so he doesn’t give them much of a presence down low defensively. Juan Toscano-Anderson has also had to play significant minutes in the frontcourt for the Warriors, and he only averages 6.9 points per game. Additionally, Draymond Green is only scoring 5.2 points per game this season.

Getting Wiseman back would be a massive boost for the Warriors offensively. It would also help defensively, too, though, as he is second on the team in blocks per game.

Sure, the Golden State Warriors are very dependent on the play of Stephen Curry, who is averaging 30.1 points per game this season. However, getting James Wiseman back can be the difference in the Warriors making the playoffs or ultimately missing the postseason for the second consecutive season.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference; Contract numbers courtesy of Spotrac