How Wiseman fared in Pistons debut after trade from Warriors


After several days of uncertainty about where he'd play, James Wiseman finally made his Detroit Pistons debut Wednesday night in a 127-109 loss to the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics.

Wiseman got just one practice in with the Pistons before his first game with the franchise after the four-team trade involving the Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and Atlanta Hawks was put on hold over the weekend because of Gary Payton II's failed physical.

Because of his limited time with the Pistons, Wiseman didn't come off the bench at TD Garden until 3:29 left in the first quarter, spelling Detroit starting center Jalen Duren, who tweaked an ankle injury.

In 23:30 of game action, Wiseman finished with 11 points and five rebounds. He shot 5 of 9 from the field, missed his only 3-point attempt, split two free-throw tries and finished a minus-9.

But for Wiseman, just getting on the court is a win. Before the trade that was finalized Sunday, the 21-year-old had played in just two of the Warriors' previous 21 games, and he hadn't played more than 20 minutes in a game since Dec. 21, 2022.

The Warriors had high hopes for Wiseman when they selected him with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, but injuries, fit and championship asperations derailed any possibility of the Memphis product having a fair look with Golden State. Now Wiseman has a fresh start with the Pistons, who own the Eastern Conference's worst record at 15-44.

After the game, Pistons coach Dwane Casey acknowledged that Wiseman looked good in his limited time on the court.

"He did. He really did," Casey told reporters in Boston. "He's going to be a good fit for us, his length, his size, once he gets in game condition, gets used to playing basketball again, and like you said, he went in a little early with [Jalen] Duren's ankle, when he re-injured his ankle a little bit.

"But I liked the way [Wiseman] protected. Even though he didn't block shots, he was there, he was a big body at the rim and deterred some shots. Once he gets a feel for what we're doing offensively, spacing, where to be, where to go, he's going to contribute on both ends of the floor."

There was no animosity when Wiseman and the Warriors split up. Several players, including Steph Curry, said they are rooting for the 7-foot-1 center to build a successful NBA career.

RELATED: Myers says Warriors heavily debated 'tough' Wiseman trade

The Pistons' game in Boston was the first step for Wiseman, though he now must wait eight more days to play again because of the NBA All-Star break. But he should be able to practice and build his conditioning so that when Detroit begins the second half in Orlando on Feb. 23, he'll be ready for an expanded role.

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