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James Wiseman Scouting Report

Position: PF/C

Height: 7-1

Weight: 247 pounds (112kg)

College: Memphis

Age: 19

Wingspan: 7-4 and a half

Sanding Reach: 9-6

Vertical: N/A

Offensive Role

Wiseman’s large body and long wingspan make him an elite rim runner and shot blocker. He possesses great agility which makes him a high-level threat running the floor on the fast break. His 9’6” standing reach allows him to play in areas above the rim that other players cannot and makes him a high lob threat. Wiseman is a ferocious dunker which is evident from the limited college film available on him and his ability to crash the offensive glass is elite. His size and frame also make him a heavy screener and a strong threat in the pick and roll. Wiseman is also reliable at the free throw line.

Wiseman is not yet a confident shooter and spends most of his time planted in the paint. His shot mechanics show potential spacing ability to the mid-range or even beyond the arc in the future. The other area of skills that Wiseman lacks is his play-making. Throughout his 3 college games he made only 1 assist and did not show much ability to facilitate in high school. This can be improved if Wiseman is drafted to a team with a strong shooting back-court like Golden State. This will allow him to develop his play-making ability with shooters like Curry and Thompson at his disposal.

Defensive Role

Wiseman has all the building blocks to be an elite defender at the center position. His height and frame make him an excellent rim protector. Wiseman excels at contesting and blocking shots and rebounding, averaging 10.7 rebounds and 3 blocks per game in his short college stint.

Most of Wiseman’s weaknesses on the defensive end will improve with time and NBA experience. He is often not physical enough and displays poor footwork which makes him unbalanced in space. Additionally, his awareness as the back end of the defence needs work but has been showing signs of improvement throughout his limited college time.

Concerns: The main concern surrounding Wiseman is the lack of college film available due to him playing only 3 games for Memphis. This makes it difficult to see his progression from high school to present. NBA teams will also have questions as to why Wiseman chose to leave Memphis prior to his suspension ending when he had the opportunity to make a return before the end of the season.

Medical History

No known major injuries to date.

NBA Comparison

Modern DeAndre Jordan, Taller Chris Bosh, Potential All-Star.

Draft Projection

Wiseman is a potential number 1 pick, but his placement will depend on the draft lottery. There is no definite top prospect as there was last year with Zion, so teams are expected to draft based on need.

Likely Team Fit

The best fit for Wiseman is in Golden State. This will allow him to focus on being an elite rim-runner, finisher and shot-blocker before tapping into other skills further down the track in years 3, 4 and 5. He will also be able to develop his passing skills having players like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to play off. The Warriors are in dyer need of an elite, defensive, starting big man and Wiseman has an opportunity to make an immediate impact in Golden State.


Wiseman has been a major draft prospect since his high school emergence in 2017. He possesses truly clear strengths in and around the post on both ends of the floor. He needs to improve and fine tune his play-making, shooting and defensive skills but his ability to be an elite rim-runner and tower in the paint makes him an immediate threat in the NBA while he develops the rest of his game. There are concerns over his extremely limited college experience and the circumstances surrounding his situation at Memphis, but it should not be enough to land him anywhere outside the top 3 picks in the 2020 draft. Depending on which team Wiseman is selected by, he has the chance to make an immediate impact in the NBA and I can see him making all-star teams and starting on a championship team in the future.


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