Mavericks add new big man with an abundance of potential
In this trade, Dallas would receive Detroit big man James Wiseman in exchange for forward Maxi Kleber and a future second-round draft pick by way of the Miami Heat.
Although Wiseman's career has been brief, he's on the verge of being labeled a bust. Drafted second overall in 2020, Wiseman entered the league as a 19-year-old, with limited college experience.
The Piston Center was the consensus number one overall recruit out of high school. He decided to attend the University of Memphis, under head coach Penny Hardaway's tutelage. However, an NCAA investigation completely altered Wiseman's freshman season.
Wiseman only played three games for the Tigers before declaring for the draft amid the investigation. In those three contests, Wiseman averaged 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game.
After being selected second, over the likes of LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton, Tyrese Maxey, Desmond Bane, and others, Wiseman has failed to live up to his draft status.
In his rookie season, Wiseman appeared in 39 games with 27 starts. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Despite the intriguing numbers, Wiseman consistently looked lost on defense and lacked awareness.
Amongst all qualifiers, Wiseman ranked in the bottom 50 in both offensive and defensive ratings. Out of 540 players, the ex-Warrior ranked 526th in Value Over Replacement Player (VORP).
It's not uncommon for rookies to rank low in advanced metrics, but Wiseman never improved after his inaugural campaign. He missed his sophomore season due to injury and only played in 45 games a season ago.
This season, Wiseman has only appeared in 10 games thus far. In 11.1 minutes of action, Wiseman holds averages of 5.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Stuck behind fellow youngsters Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, and Marvin Bagley III, Wiseman's path to playing time looks bleak.
While acquiring Wiseman isn't exactly a home run for the Mavs, his ability plus potential is enough to warrant a trade. Furthermore, Dallas only plays one center, the aforementioned Dereck Lively II. With veterans Richaun Holmes and Dwight Powell backing up Lively II, playing time is plentiful.