The Golden State Warriors are expected to start rookie center James Wiseman in place of injured Draymond Green (foot) in Tuesday night’s season opener against the Brooklyn Nets, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports. Green was listed as out on Monday’s injury report and isn’t expected to play. Wiseman was initially not going to start in the front court, per coach Steve Kerr. Apparently, there’s been a change of heart and the rookie will be thrown into the fire.
Update: Kerr has confirmed Wiseman in the starting lineup, per reports.
Kerr said Wiseman wasn't surprised when told he'd be starting: "He expects to start, he expects to be a good player in this league."— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) December 22, 2020
Kerr also added that Wiseman is going to play in “short spurts” tonight. With that said, it may be tough to trust Wiseman at $4,900 on DraftKings. I mentioned it a bit below, I think Wiseman is strictly a GPP play and I would stay away from him in cash games. With this news, we should expect plenty of Looney and Paschall in the front court and Chriss becomes a viable value play as well. Be wary though, if the Nets pull away, we could see some weird rotations from Kerr unless the Dubs keep things within striking distance.
James Wiseman, who is starting for Golden State against the Nets, will play in “short spurts”, Steve Kerr says.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) December 22, 2020
“I think he expects to start,” Kerr said of Wiseman’s reaction to starting. “I think he expects to be a good player in this league, so there wasn’t great surprise.”
Wiseman ($4,900 on DraftKings) will make his NBA debut in the starting lineup at Barclays Center tonight. Kerr apparently saw enough during scrimmages and drills in practice to feel comfortable with Wiseman starting out the gate. It sort of makes sense considering the Warriors don’t really have a true center other than Wiseman on the roster. Green has always played center in small ball lineups for the Dubs. The other two candidates for the starting lineup were Kevon Looney and Eric Paschall. We should see Paschall ($3,800) start at PF with Wiseman at C tonight.
The more interesting storyline here is does Wiseman start off guarding Kevin Durant? If that’s the case, we could look to KD as a very good tournament option on DK at $9,800. Durant hasn’t played in forever but he looked good enough in preseason to not have many concerns. The other players who could benefit include DeAndre Jordan ($5,600) and Jarrett Allen ($6,200). It would seem Jordan is starting over Allen at center. We don’t know who will be allotted more minutes. Allen started all last season for the Nets. Steve Nash may have different plans.
I don’t know how much I’d overreact to the news of Wiseman starting at center. If Paschall is also in the starting lineup, this doesn’t change much for him being a very chalky, cash-game play. Wiseman gets more consideration as the starter, but I wonder what the crunch-time lineup will look like for the Dubs. It could be a small ball look with Kelly Oubre ($6,700) at PF and Paschall playing the 5. It would depend what the Nets throw out there. Wiseman is a good counter defensively to Jordan and Allen’s size down low.
As long as Paschall is starting, he’s still a strong play to me. Wiseman becomes an interesting tournament and Showdown target. Looney should have even more suppressed ownership along with Marquese Chriss ($4,000), who could see some minutes in the front court. Looney and Chriss aren’t bad pivots off of Paschall, and now potentially Wiseman chalk. Jordan is becoming a more interesting GPP play as the day rolls on.