NBA Draft Expert’s Notebook: Meet Delon Wright, the Next Big 2015 Prospect

Delon Wright was good last year—the kind of good that put him on NBA radars despite spending the previous two years in junior college. Wright earned scouts’ attention. And this year, I’m expecting him to keep it and ultimately convert it into first-round dollars.

The younger brother of 10-year NBA veteran Dorell, Delon seemingly came out of nowhere as an impact junior at Utah. He got the occasional national shoutout last season. And chances are if you’re a hardcore draft fan or regular Pac-12 viewer, you’re pretty familiar with Wright’s game. But for the most part, he still flies a bit below the radar.

I’d be willing to bet he doesn’t last down there for long—with Utah expected to compete for a postseason bid, the spotlight and microphones should naturally start shifting Wright’s way.

Regardless, the potential he flashed in his first year on the job in Division I basketball is worthy of examination. Wright put up monster numbers, both in terms of production and efficiency, while showcasing some special physical tools for a point guard.

At 6’5″, he’s got that standout size that helps drive the mismatch he presents at the point guard position on both ends of the floor. And this kid is smooth and elastic. He reminds me of Gumby out there, with the ability to twist and contort his body to fit through tight seams and windows.

Wright performs well on the eye test, from an athletic and measurement standpoint. His type of height and elusiveness allows a ball-handler of his skill to play to his upside.

Wright averaged 5.3 assists a game last season while being used on just 21.4 percent of his possessions (in comparison, guys like Elfrid Payton and Shabazz Napier, who each averaged between five and six assists, had usage rates last year of over 27 percent). He sets up teammates from multiple spots and angles on the floor, whether he’s running a pick-and-roll, attacking from the wing or pushing the break.

Wright just has some tantalizing change-of-direction shiftiness and slick playmaking instincts. He’s not the quickest or most explosive, but he finds ways to get to his spots on the floor, particularly with that nasty hesitation dribble.

He finished his junior year with a decent 1.96 pure point rating (weighs assists and turnovers relative to each other in a per-minute form, per sports-reference.com), which ranks fifth amongst DraftExpress‘ top 100 point guards. Wright isn’t your traditional facilitator, as he even played off the ball occasionally at Utah, but his feel for the game as a passing playmaker has looked pretty on point. 

He generated some nice buzz for himself this summer at the LeBron James Nike Skills Academy, where many of the top players in the country work out through invitation only. 

As a scorer, Wright is as crafty as they come. He averaged 15.5 points a game, and just about all of them came within 12-15 feet from the hoop.

You can’t even appreciate how good he was inside the arc without mentioning his glaring weakness first. Wright poses as a non-threat from long range. He hit just 12 three-pointers last year and shot just 22.2 percent. With defenses sagging back, giving up the jumper and looking to take away the drive, Wright still managed to shoot a whopping 63.3 on two-point field goals. 

Wright spoke with Raphielle Johnson of CollegeBasketballTalk regarding his shooting stroke:

That’s the main thing I need to work on. I’ve been shooting a lot of shots in the gym, and I’m trying to work on my form, release and confidence [in taking those shots]. A lot of teams packed the lane against me because they knew I like to drive to the basket. They gave me the outside shot and I wasn’t comfortable with it. So I feel that if I can knock those shots down, it will open up my game and open up the game for the entire team.

Usually you see forwards or big men lead their conference in field-goal percentage, which Wright did at 56.1 percent—not point guards. Granted, a lot of Wright’s offense comes in transition, which isn’t by mistake, but his efficiency is still pretty ridiculous. 

In the half court, he’s a magician in the lane—one of those playmakers capable of improvising on the fly and inventing new ways to create and finish.

Hoop-Math had him down for shooting a remarkable 71.7 percent at the rim last season. Scoop shots, flips, reverses, floaters, lay-ups through contact, slams above the rim—Wright has a deep bag of tricks and sharp sense for when to use each.

His body control is terrific, from his Eurosteps to his acrobatic finishes on the move.

But only three quarters of Wright’s sales pitch to the pros will center around his offensive game. His final point, the one that could ultimately hook a general manager selecting early in next year’s draft, focuses on the defensive impact he’s made and tools he’s got for the future. 

Wright ranked No. 4 in the country last season in defensive win shares, per sports-reference.com. He racked up 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks a game.

With quick hands, long arms and the instincts to anticipate and react, Wright can be awfully disruptive. 

And he also rebounds extremely well for his position, pulling in 6.8 (5.1 defensive) a game, thanks to a strong nose for the ball and a willingness to go after it. 

From his offensive prowess to his presence on the boards and defensive potential, Wright brings a fairly complete package to the table—except for that jumper, which is going to be a talking point amongst scouts whenever he suits up. 

The fact that he’ll be 23 years old by the 2015 draft doesn’t help. We’ve seen big point guards that can’t shoot get taken in the lottery before, like Michael Carter-Williams and Elfrid Payton, but they entered the draft at much younger ages (20). Their current NBA coaches and general managers will likely be disappointed if their shooting doesn’t improve by the time their 23. 

Already 22, time isn’t exactly on Wright’s side. 

But there’s reason to believe—he has looked capable in the mid-range, and he did sink 79.3 percent of his 193 free-throw attempts. 

John Pudner, a political advisor and creator of ValueAddBasketball.com who’s consulted NBA general managers in the past, developed a statistic that measures each college players’ overall value. Last year, his formula pegged Shabazz Napier as the highest-rated player. And now Pudner has Wright projected to follow in his footsteps as the most valuable in the country

Look for Wright to bring Utah to the national stage in 2015, and in turn, break through as a rising NBA prospect in draft conversations. 

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Blazers’ Dorell Wright Shows off Outstanding Wedding Photos

Portland Trail Blazers small forward Dorell Wright tied the knot on Saturday, and before he did, he decided to get some epic wedding photos taken.

Along with the Instagram post above, Wright provided another great one of him and his wife.

If you’re going to get married, you might as well do it in style.

[Instagram]

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Wright plays to impress in last day of 10-day contract with Bucks

In the final day of his 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, Chris Wright finally got a chance to show the team what he can do in game action.
Wright played 26 minutes in Milwaukee’s 124-107 blowout loss to Sacramento on Sunday, scoring nine points with four rebounds and three assists. In a game in which the Bucks were never in and trailed by as many as 40, Wright was one of the few players who brought energy and effort.
“I like what I saw,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “We were just in there talking about it. Watching Chris play, he really gives us something that we don’t have.”
Signed on March 14, the former University of Dayton star had appeared in just one game with the Bucks prior to Sunday. Wright played seven minutes and scored three points in a 115-94 loss in New York on March 15.
The 6-foot-9 forward played in 24 games with Golden State in the 2011-12 season, averaging 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds over 7.8 minutes per game. Wright only had played more than 26 minutes i

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Bucks sign forward Wright to 10-day contract (Yahoo Sports)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent forward Chris Wright to a 10-day contract.

View full post on Yahoo Sports – NBA News

Milwaukee beats Wright St 69-63 for Horizon title (Yahoo Sports)

Milwaukee's Cody Whichmann, right, blocks a shot by Wright State's Tavares Sledge during the Horizon League men's tournament championship, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/The Dayton Daily News, Ty Greenlees)

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Picked to finish last in the Horizon League’s preseason poll.


View full post on Yahoo Sports – NCAA Men’s Hoops News

Jay Wright psyched about new Big East: ‘All teams have great following’

Jay Wright psyched about new Big East: “All teams have great following”

View full post on USATODAY.com Feed

Wright earns 400th win, Villanova tops Seton Hall (Yahoo Sports)

Villanova coach Jay Wright shouts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Seton Hall, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, in Villanova, Pa. Villanova won 70-53. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Jay Wright walked off the court to Villanova students chanting ”400! 400!” at the popular coach.


View full post on Yahoo Sports – NCAA Men’s Hoops News

Wright State’s Jerran Young Throws Down Monster Slam

Wright State senior forward Jerran Young decided to make a statement against the Green Bay Phoenix on January 17.

Watch the video above as Young cuts between two defenders and then finishes the play off with a monster slam with contact at the rim.

Heading into this game, the Raiders were 11-8 and 3-1 in the Horizon League, looking to take the top spot in the conference away from Green Bay.

Read more College Basketball news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – College Basketball

Coach’s Corner: Villanova’s Jay Wright

The Wildcats, at 14-1, have been the class of the new Big East this season.

View full post on USATODAY.com Feed

Smith-Rivera’s 25 lead Hoyas past Wright St. 88-70 (Yahoo Sports)

Wright State forward Jerran Young, right, blocks a shot by Georgetown forward Aaron Bowen during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Reggie Cameron made the first three 3-point attempts of his college career, part of Georgetown’s recovery from a dreadful performance from beyond the arc in its season-opening loss, and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 25 points, helping the Hoyas beat Wright State 88-70 Wednesday night. Markel Starks added 23 points and six assists for the hosts. That helped make up for a quiet game from center Joshua Smith, the transfer from UCLA who is listed at 6-10 and 350 pounds and scored 25 in his Georgetown debut but only six Wednesday. Unranked Georgetown (1-1) was 10 for 22 on 3s, quite an improvement after going 1 for 15 while losing 82-75 to then-No. 19 Oregon in South Korea last week.


View full post on Yahoo Sports – NCAA Men’s Hoops News

Next Page »