The first few weeks of Delon Wright being on the floor with his teammates in Dallas did not go as planned.
The 27 year old guard, fresh off signing a three-year/$28 million deal with the Mavs this summer, injured his hamstring while scrimmaging with new teammates in the days leading up to the official start of training camp earlier this month. Fortunately it didn’t force him to miss any game time, but he still thought about the injury as the preseason schedule began last week.
“It was difficult because I was just trying to test out my leg and see how far I could take it.”
When you’re testing out your comfort with your own body, you might not be the most aggressive player on the basketball court. Wright was anything but aggressive during the Mavericks first three preseason games. He attempted just three shots in each game and seemed to pass out of several open shots and driving opportunities. Things looked much better during Monday night’s 107-70 preseason romping of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Wright nearly matched his shot total from the first three games combined with his eight shot attempts on Monday. He found himself opportunities to score in ways other than just open three points shots with a transition shot or two and also got much more of a chance to show off his playmaking ability with a couple nice dimes to Kristaps Porzingis.
Fancy handles @delonwright ✔️
Strong dunk @kporzee ✔️
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) October 15, 2019
While all the focus might be on what Porzingis and Luka Doncic are doing on the court together, KP felt Monday night was a step forward for himself, Wright and the rest of the Mavericks feeling better on the court together.
“I felt more comfortable and he (Wright) felt more comfortable out there. It’s only a matter of time before we all feel good on the floor and we’re executing things as sharp as coach wants us to.”
Wright’s ability to function in/positively impact the game while sharing the floor with a primary ballhandler like Luka Doncic will be a major determination in the success of his tenure in Dallas. Through the first three preseason games, Wright seemed very tentative while on the court with the reigning Rookie of the Year, but no one with the Mavericks wanted that.
“Everybody has been telling me to be more aggressive,” Wright said following his 9 point, 7 rebound and 3 assist performance on Monday night. “I was just trying to get a feel for everybody, but they said don’t do that. Just be more aggressive and (don’t be afraid to) make mistakes.”
It’s clear that Wright has the support of seemingly everyone in the Mavericks organization and that begins with his head coach.
“We have great belief in his ability to be a high level starter in this league. That’s why we pursued him, signed him, traded draft picks to make sure Memphis didnt match,” Rick Carlisle said Monday night.
“He’s the kind of guy everybody loves to play with. He’s a great teammate, he’s a man of few words and he plays the game the right way.”
With a multi-year contract and everyone in the organization enthusiastically behind him, Delon Wright’s comfort and confidence as a Dallas Maverick should be quickly increasing on and off the court.
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