The Golden State Warriors are just two weeks away from starting their 2020-21 campaign, but they just hit a major snag leading up to their season opener.
Draymond Green and No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman missed the team’s first official practice of the season on Monday. Head coach Steve Kerr didn’t specifically reveal the reason for their absence, but it was later reported that both Green and Wiseman tested positive for the coronavirus. How will the news affect the Warriors’ preseason preparations and will both players be back for the season opener?
Draymond Green and James Wiseman miss practice on Monday
The Warriors returned to practice Monday to start their preparations leading up to the 2020-21 season. Golden State is looking to bounce back from a disappointing and unlucky 2019-20 campaign that saw Kevin Durant leave town and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson miss basically the entire season due to injury.
The Warriors missed the playoffs last year for the first time in seven seasons, but some positives actually came from their nightmare season. Golden State finished 15-50 last year and was awarded the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft.
With the pick, the Warriors selected talented center James Wiseman out of Memphis. The team was excited to get Wiseman in the building Monday and see what he could do in a practice setting.
Unfortunately for Golden State, Wiseman was a no-show for the first practice of the season, as was Draymond Green. Kerr said afterward, “You can make your own deductions” about why Green and Wiseman were absent.
Draymond Green and James Wiseman test positive for COVID-19
Shortly after practice concluded, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Green and Wiseman missed practice due to positive COVID-19 tests.
The Warriors announced last Tuesday that two unnamed players had tested positive for the coronavirus, but they weren’t revealed as Green and Wiseman until Monday of this week. Both players will need to quarantine away from the team for 10 to 12 days and produce a negative test before rejoining the team.
Will Green and Wiseman return in time for the season opener?
Warriors fans might be feeling like the sky is falling ahead of the 2020-21 season. First, Klay Thompson tears his Achilles during a workout and will miss his second season in a row. Then, team leader Draymond Green and star rookie James Wiseman miss the start of training camp due to COVID-19.
But don’t fear Dubs Nation. Both Green and Wiseman should be back in time for the season opener against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, Dec. 22. They will be eligible to return to practice once they produce a negative test after Friday, Dec. 11.
“It’s unfortunate, but it’s just the way it goes,” Kerr said after practice Monday. “Our coaching staff has been showing [Wiseman] tape the last few days. He’s still getting some homework in. It’s not ideal, but nothing’s ideal for anyone in 2020.”
The Warriors are hopeful Wiseman can return as soon as possible so he can play in one of the team’s three preseason games, but he and Green should both be on the court when Golden State finally suits up for the 2020-21 season.