It was 2011 and the Mavericks were just starting their new experiment of bringing in short term players to fill the void after dismantling the World Champions. To fill out a very thin roster, the Dallas Mavericks brought in the 2007 8th overall pick in the draft, Brandan Wright.
After being drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats he was traded on draft night to the Golden State Warriors for Jason Richardson and the draft rights to Jermareo Davidson. He missed the 2009-10 season due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder he suffered in training camp.
Wright, since returning, was always looked at in the league as young talent with huge potential if he could get back to scoring like he did at the University of North Carolina averaging 14.2 per game. Dallas however needed someone that could log minutes in their Dirkish 4-sometimes-5 spot. Of all the current roster players you could easily make the case that he is in the most curious position. Of those players that first joined the Mavs in the 2011-12 season, he is without a contract next season. Vince Carter is currently the only one with one on paper at least.
We caught up with Brandan immediately after their overtime win against the 3rd best team in the Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets. Ironically, after their playoff hopes were burned by the worst team in the Western Conference, the Phoenix Suns.
TSC: First of all Brandan, how big was this win tonight especially after the Phoenix lost?
BW: “This is a really gutsy win. We played hard. We didn’t execute as well as we liked to, but we came out on top at the end.”
TSC: What is the teams mindset? Especially yours. What do you want to get accomplish these last 3 games?
BW: “Finish up strong you know. Play hard and take it one game at a time. Pretty much 3 games in 4 days and just try to finish up the right way.”
TSC: What did coach talk to you guys about going into that overtime? You had the win, then had the turnover and end up in overtime?
BW: “He just said hey it’s been like this all year. Been in a lot of close games and started the season off losing all our overtime games so we gained some valuable experience. [We] learned some hard lessons, but we got a good overtime win against a good team.”
The win was good, but if left most Mavs fans saying, “where was that Wednesday night?”.
Brandan Wright staying in Dallas will be the hardest decision for the Mavs to make in the offseason. Rick Carlisle has spent plenty of gym hours working with him to give him the confidence needed to really be a contributor to this team.
This season has been his career best: 8.4 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, and 17.8 minutes per game.