James Wiseman really does seem like the biggest unknown of the top prospects.
He looks like he has all the tools to be an elite big in the modern NBA but there is so little tape on him and the way his brief college season went raises more questions than it does provide answers. Teams are going to have to rely on his workouts and interviews much more than they usually would I suspect.
He could be the next DeAndre Ayton. But if you pick him you better hope he isn't the next Hasheem Thabeet.
There are a lot of differences between James Wiseman and Hasheem Thabeet. Athleticism, offence, fluidity, etc. I don't think its right to compare any risky center with the biggest draft bust of all time.
I've argued that he is at least the prospect that DeAndre Ayton was at the same age, based on athleticism and skills. I see much more fluidity to his game too, similar to Anthony Davis. I'm not saying he will be that great, but I'm saying that his athleticism has a little bit of Davis to him.
He's a great prospect based on what we know of him. If interviews and references demonstrate character question marks, obviously that changes things, but I've not heard any of that.
I'd say the way his college experience played out is one huge red flag for possible character issues. The interviews can alleviate that, though, if he comes across as thoughtful and understanding of what will be asked of him at the NBA level.
And you're right he isn't the same player as Thabeet. But I do think they both share a similar lack of understanding of the finer points of the game of basketball, at least from afar. Could be wrong about that, though, there's just not a lot of tape out there on him against meaningful competition.
Given the NCAA is a clown of an organization I hold violations of the nature Wiseman committed 0% against him.
Oh, I don't disagree the NCAA is shady as it gets, but if you willingly sign up knowing the rules ahead of time I do think it is on you to follow them. Wiseman could have done what other top prospect have started doing and gone professional instead of going the NCAA route. His team was counting on him and he let them down.
I don't think it should just be hand waived away. Maybe it's just a blip, maybe it isn't. Time will tell.
There is no indication that Wiseman DIDN'T follow the rules. From all that we know, Hardaway paid his family's moving expenses without Wiseman's individual knowledge. And even that alone wasn't the trigger for the problem. The problem only kicks up because Hardaway was classified as a non-institutional 'booster' and that is what made the payment against the rules.
It isn't what Wiseman did that got him ruled ineligible. It is what Hardaway did and only because of Hardaway's status
that caused Wiseman to be afoul of the NCAA's absurd rules.
Your portrayal of this as Wiseman somehow 'letting down' his teammates who were 'counting on him' is simply not correct. Please give it a rest.