The quick answer is: James Wiseman is 7’0 (213 cm) tall and his wingspan is 7’6 (229 cm).
As a rule, NBA players are big. Every player, from the shorter points to the biggest centers, tends to tower over most of the population. That’s because height and size both go a long way out on the court. However, that’s not everything. Speed matters a lot too.
The following guide will look at that balance by studying James Wiseman. Breaking down the way the Warriors’ center plays the game, and seeing the way he fits into their dynamic offense, will cover what it takes to be a big in the current NBA.
Tall, but Not Big
In today’s NBA, height isn’t as critical as it used to be. While size has become more important than ever, the emphasis on outside shooting and spread offenses have made quickness and speed extremely valuable. So valuable, that slow players are now a liability.
Where dominant forwards and centers like Shaq or Charles Barkley were all the rage back in the 90’s, teams need a bit more flexibility today. That isn’t to say there’s no room for such players. Rather, most big men just need to be a bit leaner and more versatile.
That’s exactly where Wiseman fits in.
A Powerful Frame
Wiseman came into the NBA in an odd way. As with most top draft picks, he had a lot of hype. However, that hype wasn’t backed up with much due to a controversy that caused him to barely play during his only season at Memphis. Despite that, the Warriors still took him second overall.
That might seem odd, especially for such a strong franchise, but they made the move largely due to how well Wiseman combines useful traits into a single package.
The center stands seven feet tall, clocks in at 240 pounds, and does so while being quite speedy relative to his frame. He can run the floor with ease, defend smaller players, and freely switch without falling behind or losing an assignment.
On top of those traits, he also comes in with a 7’6 wingspan. That gives him even more versatility, allowing him to defend, post up, or shoot over just about anyone regardless of what position they play or where they stand on the court.
In that way, he provides his team with a guard’s abilities in a center’s body. That’s a combination all organizations currently want. He may not be as great as some other bigs like Nikola Jokic, but the potential is definitely there.
Finding His Position
Wiseman has played well, but he’s still finding himself in the NBA. While he bounced back from some early injuries, he hasn’t done a great job of righting the ship just yet. Part of that is due to the learning curve of getting used to the NBA, and part of it is his role.
Though Wiseman is a more modern center, he still plays like a more traditional big man. He makes most of his money down low near the rim rather than outside. The lack of a deeper shot is holding him back, especially in the way the Warriors like to play.
He’s not completely lost, and he’s had some great stretches in his young career. The reason for that is largely due to his unique dimensions and the way he can play a lot faster than his body would normally allow.
On paper, it’s hard to find many faults with Wiseman. He has a lot of strength, length, and can score in various ways. Though his stats don’t necessarily reflect his value, the center is still young. He’s got a lot of time to learn and, more importantly, vastly improve.