James Wiseman makes ‘good step’ in ramp up, Warriors still targeting his return in Las Vegas

SAN FRANCISCO — A former Memphis star led the Warriors in scoring Sunday evening in their 100-77 loss to the Lakers at Chase Center.

And no, it wasn’t James Wiseman, though the former No. 2 overall pick did make a positive step forward in his reintegration process before the game.

Guard Lester Quiñones, a good friend and former teammate Wiseman who signed a two-way contract with the Warriors after going undrafted, shined in his second Summer League showing, scoring a team-high 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting. His first of three 3-pointers came in the third quarter after Moses Moody, who made his 2022 Summer League debut Sunday, kicked out the ball to him.

“Lester was good,” said Santa Cruz Warriors coach Seth Cooper, who’s spearheading Golden State’s California Classic team. “We believe he can be a guy who makes shots at a pretty high level. You got to see some of that today… That’s something we can continue to build on.”

But the bigger news of the evening took place just before tip-off when Wiseman participated in his first 5-on-5 scrimmage as part of his ramp up for Summer League.

“Today was a good step, and he looked really good,” Cooper said.

Wiseman is still on track to make his 2022 Summer League debut in Las Vegas, Cooper said. “That’s the plan, I haven’t heard anything one way or the other,” he added.

The news is the latest development in what has been a turbulent 16-month recovery for Wiseman.

Save for a few G League games in March, the 7-foot center hasn’t seen live game action since he underwent surgery to repair his torn meniscus in April 2021. He’s since experienced several setbacks in his return, including a second surgery in December and an injection in his arm to promote healing in April.

Wiseman is eager to get back on the court to prove that he can be a reliable force in the paint and on the boards.

In other news

Moses’ 2022 California Classic debut hit a speedbump in the first quarter when he exited the game with a cut above his left eye. He returned in the second quarter after receiving two stitches and a bandage and finished with nine points on a dismal 3-of-11 shooting. He also had five turnovers but added two blocks and three assists in 24 minutes.

After stealing the show in his Summer League debut Saturday with a 23-point performance, Gui Santos, the No. 55 pick in last month’s draft, struggled in his second game. Santo finished with seven points on 3-of-7 shooting in 24 minutes.

Contributed by local news sources

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