Joe Lacob: James Wiseman Is Once-In-A-Decade Center Prospect

The Golden State Warriors had long targeted James Wiseman with the second overall pick and didn’t let the injury to Klay Thompson shift their direction at the draft.

“I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and say that it didn’t cross our minds or my mind,” Lacob said. “(But) that would’ve been going contrary to what our plan was — the No. 1 guy on our board is the guy we drafted, James Wiseman. And I think a lot of people guessed that, the truth. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t have somebody else we liked a lot and that certainly considered very strongly. But that wasn’t our plan and we decided (Thompson’s injury) wasn’t going to change our final decision. We just needed to take the guy we really believed in because you’re also drafting not only for the short term but for the long term.”

Lacob said Wiseman was always his top choice.

“To be honest with you, he was my No. 1 forever, basically,” Lacob said. “I just think he’s a once-in-a-decade kind of guy. I would argue that, other than (Joel) Embiid, I don’t know that there’s another center prospect that’s come along in the last decade that you would put in the same category. Different players, maybe. But this guy is immensely talented. …

“When you see him in person, it’s pretty compelling. And when we watched him do his workout, it’s pretty compelling. … Some of the things he does on the court for a guy his size, he’s very mobile, really good ballhandling for someone his size. Anyone who says he can’t shoot is crazy. He can shoot. He’s going to get better; he can shoot. And he’s obviously going to be a very good defender, he’s going to be a rim protector and shot blocker, so there’s a heckuva lot of things to like. And I just think he’s a great fit as well with what we needed and with our team.”

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