James Wiseman - NBA Draft Room

James Wiseman


Position: CFROM: MemphisHT: 7-1WT: 247
BORN: 3/31/01YEAR: Fr.WING: 7-4 1/2REACH: 9-6

Draft Notes

James Wiseman has been at the top of our 2020 draft board for two years and he still projects as a likely top 3 pick and possible no.1 overall player. The final decision could come down to team need.

There’s also a bit of a wildcard in play with Wiseman in that he could hold private workouts and blow teams away with his improved strength, handle, shooting etc. Or, on the flip side he could disappoint and look lackadaisical.

Since we haven’t seen him play much in the past year (during a time that’s typically very important for a big man’s development) he could be leaps and bounds better than what we remembered, or he could have leveled off early. The question for teams at the top of the draft will be: did James Wiseman take the Joel Embidd developmental trajectory or the Nick Richards route?


Wiseman has a great frame with long arms and excellent agility. He runs the floor well and is a high level athlete, not just a big body. He can play in areas above the rim that most players can’t reach.

His post up and mid range game are on point and he knows how to get to his spot and body up against the defender to create space. He shows quick moves in the lane and a soft touch around the basket. He’s a ferocious dunker who can really explode off the floor and play way above the rim. He’s also got a sweet left-hand baby hook shot, which he shoots with great height and accuracy.

He has a nice shooting stroke and shows a lot of promise as a mid range scorer, with potential to expand his range out to three. He’s got the skills of a true post player but is also highly skilled from the perimeter. He’s a talented passer in half court sets and also a great outlet passer after defensive rebounds.

Wiseman is a force on the defensive end, where he alters and blocks a lot of shots, showing good timing, quick elevation and good shot blocking instincts. His awareness on the defensive end is something that can’t be taught and Wiseman projects as a legit rim protector at the college and NBA levels. He also does a nice job of altering perimeter shots and has enough foot-speed to bother guards beyond the three point line.

He has size, length and instincts that you can’t teach and a chance to be special.


Wiseman is still learning the finer points of the game such as playing with proper positioning on defense and making the right rotations and switches. This isn’t so much a weakness as it is inexperience.

His frame is a bit top heavy and he needs to add a lot of muscle, especially to his lower body. He gets pushed around too easily and ends up on the floor too often.

He relies too much on his left hand when scoring in the paint. Needs to polish up his footwork and get better body control and balance on his spin moves, drop steps and turn around jumpers.

He an get happy feet and switch his pivot foot, leading to traveling violations. Overall he needs to let the game slow down for him and make better decisions. He often forces or settles for an outside shot when he has a clear advantage and should go to the rim instead.

Needs to play with consistent intensity and develop more alpha dog tendencies.


  • Anthony Davis lite
  • bigger Chris Bosh
  • Patrick Ewing

Draft Projection

Top 5 Pick in the 2020 NBA Draft


2020 Centers

  1. James Wiseman – 7-0 – Memphis
  2. Onyeka Okongwu – 6-9 – USC
  3. Isaiah Stewart – 6-9 – Washington 
  4. Zeke Nnaji – 6-11 – Arizona 
  5. Daniel Oturu – 6-10 – Minnesota
  6. Vernon Carey Jr. – 6-10 – Duke
  7. Steven Enoch – 6-10 – Louisville 
  8. Nick Richards – 6-11 – Kentucky
  9. Udoka Azubuike – 7-0 -Kansas
  10. Omer Yurtseven – 7-0 – Georgetown