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Nets Rookie Feels Cold Draft

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by Ohm Youngmisuk
New York Daily News

ANTOINE WRIGHT typically guards Vince Carter or Richard Jefferson in practice. So it's not hard for the Nets rookie to accept that he may not play much this season.

"Sometimes I feel lower than a freshman," Wright said before the Nets played Boston last night at the Meadowlands. "Here it is like, 'Start all over again, learn how to play all over.'

"It is tough, definitely tough, from being the number one guy (at Texas A&M) to being the number whatever guy. (But) those guys (Jefferson and Carter) are like elite guys in the league."

On most teams, the 15th pick in the draft sees playing time. Wright, however, is fighting just to make the 12-man active roster; he is a candidate to start the season on the inactive list.

The Nets likes Wright's potential to become a tough defender and capable scorer but at the moment, the 6-7 swingman is low on the depth chart.

When they drafted him in June, the Nets figured Wright would spell Carter and Jefferson. But since then the team loaded up on shooters, signing free agents Jeff McInnis, Lamond Murray, Scott Padgett and Linton Johnson.

Going into last night's exhibition, Wright was averaging 4.6 points and shooting 30%. He had a less-than-stellar performance at Toronto, with six turnovers, five fouls and two missed free throws late in the game.

But Wright is still fighting hard to make the opening-night roster. Carter has the scratch marks on his arms to prove it.