What do we really have with the inexperienced, oft-injured, 23 year old Brandan Wright? He's never quite lived up to the hype surrounding him when he decided to leave UNC, where he averaged 14.7 points and 6.2 boards a game, but there was indeed a lot of hype to live up to. Before being drafted 8th in the 2007 draft, he was billed as Bosh 2.0. The sky was the limit for the long, athletic and lean big man. However, injuries during his short professional career have derailed his development and a big shoulder injury even erased all of last season.
At this point in his career he is healthy and he is ready for his chance. The biggest thing he needs is minutes, and lots of 'em. Brandan Wright has only played in 98 NBA games. As a point of reference, our young Brook Lopez has played in 221. Luckily for Wright, a shoulder injury isn't going to affect his ability to run the court and get off the ground in a hurry. That is exactly what this team needs from the kid. Given his inopportune injury history, he is no doubt STARVING for some burn on the court and the opportunity to prove that he belongs in this league. With nothing left to lose and some new blood in NJ, conditions could be perfect for a Brandon Wright break out.
More on what he was supposed to be from nbadraft.net:
Matthew Maurer - 1/14/2007Strengths: Extremely mobile for his size, Wright runs the court with great fluidity Excellent help defender thanks to his long arms and lateral quickness Does a great job of getting his body wide and establishing position in the low post Emerging as a very good post passer Possesses great shooting touch around the basket, he converts on hook shots and short jumpers with a soft touch Great rebounder who uses his athleticism and long arms to obtain rebounds Foot speed and footwork is incredibly advanced for his age Because of this he can face the basket and get past his defender on the baseline Recognizes double teams extremely well He has yet to scratch the surface of his potential Offensively Wright is an efficient player who plays to his strengths and rarely operates outside his comfort area Moves well without the ball and is a threat to score on the quick lob pass For a freshman Wrights understanding of the game is exceptional Possesses great hands and shows no problem catching passes thrown to him into the post
Weaknesses: Must gain more upper body strength to withstand the physical play at the next level Lacks the upper body strength to consistently finish after contact occurs Could stand to expand his perimeter shooting, as of right now he shows the touch needed but hasnt developed the confidence nor consistency to make shots from mid-range Shooting mechanics could stand to be tweaked Free throw shooting remains a work in progress, shows improvement but has yet to convert regularity. Should focus on less motion before his release Can get disrupted and pushed away from the basket as his doesnt have the body strength to hold position Back to the basket skills are still in need of refinement
What could he be given the time on the court? Below is projections of what he would contribute playing 36 minutes per game. (basketball-reference.com)The 2008-09 season is the most realistic projected output, as he already played 18 minutes a game. The rest, though they show similar numbers may be skewed by garbage time.
36 Minutes Per Game...
The kid is going to get his opportunity on this team. The minutes are there for the taking. He will be playing with Deron Williams, one of the ultimate point guards in the league, and depending on the lineup he plays in, will be surrounded by knock down outside shooters and even a big inside post presence in Brook Lopez. Get Brandan Wright moving in a pick and roll with Williams, out on the fast break, or even coming in from the weak side for some defensive help and he will be right in his comfort zone.