May. 31, 2015
Mavericks' Free Agent Target Analysis: Brandan Wright
The NBA is in full swing right now as we head into the finals, and as an NBA fan I’m ecstatic to watch the Lebron vs Curry show, but as a Mavs fan, I’m waiting for the offseason. The Mavs have many options going into the summer, so let’s keep looking at a few more players the Mavs should look to bring in.
The next guy we’ll look at isn’t going to be starter, but he would be one of the best complementary players to this team. As Dallas fans, we all know and love this next guy. Brandan Wright, aka the helicopter, is going to be back on the market this offseason and could be one the Mavs’ targets. He had a tremendous couple of years here, but he was part of the package that brought Rajon Rondo here, unfortunately. There’s a lot of love between Wright and the Mavs, so could he make a comeback this summer? Let’s look at his career history first:
Brandan Wright played at the University of North Carolina for one year, and then entered the 2007 NBA draft. In the draft, the Charlotte Bobcats selected Wright with the eighth overall pick, but he was immediately traded to the Golden State Warriors for Jason Richardson and one overseas player. Wright only appeared in 38 games his rookie season and averaged 4 points and about 3 boards. Nothing great. He stepped up in his sophomore season, starting 23 of the 39 games he played in. Wright only played in 39 games due to a dislocated shoulder, but he averaged 8 points and 4 boards in those games, showing his true potential. The Warriors decided to extend Brandan Wright’s contract through 2011, but he would need shoulder surgery, forcing him to sit out the entire 2009-2010 season. In the middle of another injury-ridden season, Wright was sent to the Nets in 2011 but only appeared in 16 games. Wright’s contract was finally up, and he entered the 2011 summer as an unrestricted free agent. The Mavs gave him a chance, because they knew he had plenty of potential and that their training staff could keep him as healthy as possible. Wright broke through and finally lived up to most of his potential. He became popular with Mavs fans for his highflying dunks and blocks, but he contributed more than was expected. Even though Wright continued to excel, the Mavs sent him to Boston in order to acquire Rajon Rondo this past season. Wright didn’t get much time in Boston before he was sent to Phoenix. His role was reduced on both teams that he went to after Dallas. Brandan Wright is once again an unrestricted free agent and appears to be back on the Mavs’ radar. Let’s take a deeper look into Wright’s pros and cons.
PROS AND CONS OF BRANDAN WRIGHT:
• Athleticism: If you’re a true Mavs fan, you know all about this. B-Wright could jump through the roof, and Dallas took advantage of this. Wright was often used as the roller on their pick-&-roll plays, and this opened up a world of opportunity. Whoever the point guard was, he was never afraid to lob it up if he saw Wright running to the basket. It was often Devin Harris who was throwing up the lob to Wright. The two seemed to have incredible chemistry on the court, and luckily, Harris will still be on the Mavs next season. Along with lobs, Wright’s athleticism helped him get up for rebounds and blocks whenever needed.
• Efficiency: Wright was on his way to having the best field goal percentage in in the league while he was with Dallas. B-Wright nearly shot 75% from the field before the trade sent him to Phoenix via Boston. Most of, if not all, of Brandan’s shots came from inside the paint. Dallas knew how to set up Wright every time he was down low, leading to his incredible percentage. A high-percentage shooter is a mixture of a high basketball IQ and a good finisher. In other words, Brandan Wright is a smart player with a ton of skill. A perfect mixture for any NBA team.
• Length and Age: Brandan Wright is 6’10, and has a wingspan of nearly 7 and a half feet. That’s big. Huge. Mix this wingspan and height with his incredible athleticism, and it becomes deadly. When Wright puts his arms straight up, it’s intimidating enough to any defender, but when he jumps, it causes a whole other set of problems. He’s nearly impossible to shoot over, and he can grab any lob that’s thrown in the air. Wright has been in the league since 2007, but he’s just now entering his prime. Different players enter their prime at different ages. For example, Lebron James has basically been in his prime his entire time, while someone like Pablo Prigioni is 38 and is just now entering his. The average player enters his prime around the age of 26, and Brandan Wright just turned 27. He could keep the Mavs young, and contribute for a long time to come.
• Injuries: As proved by his seasons before Dallas, Wright has been prone to all kinds of injuries. Starting with his shoulder problems, B-Wright has had trouble staying healthy. Wright has never competed in all 82 games of an NBA season. Last year he got the closes while playing 75. Dallas’ training staff (as mentioned so many times) is considered one of the best around the league, and they did fairly well in keeping Wright healthy while he was in a Dallas jersey. His injuries have literally varied from the top of his body (shoulder), to the bottom (foot). When healthy, Wright is dominant off the bench, but it’s often a toss-up as to whether or not he’ll be ready to go each night.
• Frame and Weight: Wright may be 6’10 with a lengthy wingspan, but he’s fairly skinny for a backup center. Wright is very slender, and although this helps him with his jumping and athleticism, it hurts his post game. When Wright’s on the defensive end, he has to reply on his length and jumping to keep his opponent from scoring, because he just doesn’t weigh enough to keep the other player from backing him down. And then, when he gets the ball on the block, he isn’t usually able to back down his defender. He only weighs 210 pounds, so he needs to try to put on some muscle if he wants to improve his post game.
All in all, it’s hard to speak negatively about Brandan Wright. He never had a bad attitude and was always ready to go. Wright didn’t have nearly the same success with Boston and Phoenix as he did with Dallas. He’s going to have plenty of suitors this offseason, but don’t be surprised if he ends up back in a Mavericks’ jersey. Wright could return to his backup center role and thrive. No Mavs fan would be against a B-Wright return. Phoenix currently has his bird rights (they can pay him even if it exceeds the cap), so this could be one problem the Mavs would have in bringing him back. If Dallas lands one of their big fish targets, they may not have the money to bring him back. We all loved Wright, and we’re pretty sure he loved us, so let’s hope that a mixture of love and money can bring him back.