Another Rookie Down

James Wiseman Tears Meniscus

The 2021 NBA Rookie Class has been impressive thus far. While some of the top players like Obi Toppin, Killian Hayes, Deni Avdija and Jalen Smith have had little to no impact on their teams. Other rookies selected later in the draft such as Immanual Quickley, Jae’Sean Tate, Desmond Bane and Saddiq Bey have started to make a name for themselves.

Unfortunately however, rookies are not exempt from injuries. Earlier this season, the aforementioned Killian Hayes went down with a hip injury in which he recently returned from. Cole Anthony has missed time with Orlando and most notably, LaMelo Ball will likely miss the rest of his rookie campaign with a wrist injury.

LaMelo was the clear frontrunner for Rookie of the Year prior to his injury. Now, the Rookie of the Year Race is back up for grabs. Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton and James Wiseman each vying for the title of the best rookie throughout the 2021 NBA Season.

Well, the Rookie of the Year race just became even more wide open with the recent news that Warriors rookie center, James Wiseman has torn his meniscus in his right knee. Wiseman has missed some time this season due to small injuries and Covid protocols, but now, he will likely miss the remainder of the regular season along with fellow rookie, LaMelo Ball.

James Wiseman was the #2 overall pick in the draft by the Golden State Warriors and has gone through some growing pains in the NBA after only playing a handful of games in College. Wiseman did benefit greatly from playing alongside Stephen Curry. Curry and Draymond Green have been staples in Wiseman’s development and he has shown the potential to be the center of the future in Golden State.

Prior to the injury, Wiseman was averaging 11.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG. He is coming off one of his best games as a rookie where he recorded a points and rebounds double-double in the first half alone. Wiseman suffered his knee injury early in the 2nd quarter in a game against the Rockets. Wiseman set a screen for Jordan Poole who made a nice pass back to Wiseman heading toward the rim. Wiseman went up to throw down an emphatic slam dunk over Kenyon Martin Jr. who contested the attempt. Wiseman came down awkwardly on his right knee and hobbled off the court.

While a meniscus injury is usually not as severe as an ACL or MCL, Wiseman will have to go through surgery and a recovery process in order to return to play. With the Warriors on the outside looking in at the playoffs or even play-in tournament in the West, I expect Wiseman to sit for the remainder of the year even if he is cleared to play for the final week or so of the season.