Golden State Warriors bench No. 2 pick James Wiseman

Jan 20, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) goes up for a dunk against the San Antonio Spurs during the third quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie center James Wiseman is headed to the bench with Kevon Looney replacing him in the starting lineup for the Golden State Warriors.

“Basically, you’ve heard me all year talk about trying to establish ourselves as a defensive team, and the last two games have been disappointing,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said Monday. “The hope is we can get off to a better start.”

Kerr said he talked to the 19-year-old Wiseman, the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, before informing the rest of the team of the change.

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“He understands this is not a demotion by any means … I’m very confident this will be a good part of his development,” Kerr said on Monday before the Warriors hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wiseman entered Monday’s game averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Golden State plans to use varied lineups with Wiseman expected to enter games midway through the first quarter, Kerr said. The change will allow the talented rookie to get a feel for opponents before entering live action.

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Kerr added he plans to play Eric Paschall at “small ball 5” in the middle of games.

In the second half and especially late in games, he plans to ride the hot hand among those three options.

–Field Level Media