• Warriors' James Wiseman is eyeing a possible return this season
  • Wiseman being on the team's road trip  is a "positive" he’s nearing return, a report says 
  • Dubs coach Steve Kerr previously revealed what the team will miss without the big man before the season began

A youngster is expected to bolster the Golden State Warriors’ inside game in his return.

The Warriors are back to being title contenders this season with Stephen Curry continuing where he left off, maintaining his MVP-like run. Atop that, the Dubs found additional depth from their youngsters, and the long-awaited return of Klay Thompson served as the cherry on top.

In his stunning NBA comeback, Thompson quickly made an impact, and the Warriors are hoping for the same outcome when James Wiseman rejoins the squad. A meniscus injury cut the big man’s rookie campaign short last season, but he is now finally “nearing” his Warriors return as well, according to NBC Sports’ Kerith Burke.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he was hoping that Wiseman would be cleared for contact once the team got home from their road trip, Burke reported.

“Being cleared for contact means a player can scrimmage, and scrimmaging is the final step before returning to games,” the journalist wrote.

The Warriors hope Wiseman will be back “sometime in February,” NBC Sports Bay Area correspondent Monte Poole reported. It is unclear whether he would return before the All-Star Break or after, according to Burke.

“Wiseman is on the road trip. Getting him reacclimated with his teammates and the systems they run are positive signs he’s nearing return,” Burke said.

Burke further predicted that based on the trajectory of Wiseman’s road to NBA comeback, he is likely to come off the bench first before returning to the Warriors starting lineup “by the end of the season.”

James Wiseman
Head coach Steve Kerr speaks to James Wiseman #33 of the Golden State Warriors Getty Images | Ezra Shaw

It can be recalled that Wiseman was limited to just 39 games during his maiden NBA season with the Warriors. At the time, he recorded an efficient 11.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game.

Before the 2021-22 regular season began, coach Kerr opened up about the things the Warriors are missing with Wiseman out of the picture.

According to Kerr, the rookie is evidently still learning his trade, but when he’s on the court, he fills the role of “a lob threat” off pick-and-rolls and a “rim-runner” during transition plays.

“Well, we really don't have a lob threat right now in our pick-and-roll game, so James will give us a rim-runner in transition and a lob threat in the pick-and-roll," Kerr admitted in October last year. "And obviously the size and length defensively."

"Obviously very young still and we're teaching him every day, so when he comes back, he'll still be in a learning process, but those are the things we'll be focusing on with him," he added.