Where will Delon get drafted? That is the question facing the reigning Bob Cousy award winner, as the NBA draft looms on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The former Utah point guard is poised to become the first Ute to be drafted since Andrew Bogut went to Milwaukee with the first overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft.
Delon will likely be drafted in the later stages of the first round. With his limited abilities to shoot the ball on the perimeter, Delon’s role on a team will likely be as a backup point guard, at least initially, and as a defensive stopper. Wright has drawn a few comparisons to another former Utah guard with a shaky shot, Andre Miller.
His selling points with NBA GM's is his size, vision in the passing lanes, terrific ability to change speeds with the ball, and overall defensive play. His age (23 years old) and experience plays in his favor depending on who you ask, as some believe he is more NBA ready than younger players in the draft. He also has NBA pedigree with his older brother Dorrell Wright, a member of the Portland Trailblazers , so he will have guidance in making the transition to NBA life.
There are a number of teams drafting in the 20-30 slot range that could use a player with Wright's skill set. The Mavericks, Spurs, Bulls, Blazers, Nets and Lakers all could benefit from Wright's services. The two most popular spots Wright is rumored to be heading however, are Dallas and Chicago.
Over at CBS, Sam Vecenie and Zach Harper have him going to the Bulls with the 22nd pick, as does SB Nation NBA writer Kevin O'Connor. Aaron Brooks and Kirk Hinrich were the primary backups for the much maligned Derrick Rose last year and neither stood out in their play. With Brooks entering free agency and Hinrich's age finally appearing to be catching up to him, Chicago could use a capable point guard ready to step in and play immediate minutes behind Rose.
Draft Express, Yahoo Sports, Huffington Post and USA Today all have Wright coming off the board one pick earlier at no. 21 to Dallas. The Mavericks will in all likelihood not have Rajon Rondo back next season, and his replacements of Raymond Felton and JJ Barea are fill-in players at this point in their careers. The Mavericks may be looking to take the best point guard available with the pick and Wright would be a strong candidate at that position in the draft.
Sports Illustrated names Wright as a potential sleeper pick in the late first round and have him going to the Spurs with the 26th pick. Tony Parker is now 33 years old and coming off one of his worst statistical seasons as a pro. The Spurs have made a living off turning later picks into highly productive player as evidenced by players like Parker (28th overall pick in 2001) and Manu Ginobili (57th overall pick in 1999). If Wright lasts until the 26th pick, he could prove to be a good fit with the Spurs.
Other Mock Drafts have Wright going to Cleveland at 24, Memphis at 25, and the Lakers at 27. Cleveland showed they could use another lock down defender in the finals, while Wright's defensive style would fit in well on Memphis and the Lakers continue to go through a total re-build. Others such as Sporting News have him slipping to the second round, though it's difficult to see Wright slipping past the Nets at the 28th pick, as they are rumored to be very interested if he falls to them in the draft.
Consensus in the NBA seems to be Wright will become a solid role player for whoever drafts him. With other guards projected to be picked earlier in the first round, Wright could very well find himself being picked up by a contender to serve as a backup guard early in his career. Utah fans living in Salt Lake, might like to see the Jazz pick up Wright, but are probably out of luck unless the Jazz trade out of the 14th pick. Wright being selected in the teens would be considered a reach by most NBA GMs. Looking at the draft order, Dallas stands out as a logical destination for Wright and at the 21st pick he would be of good value there. The Mavericks need a point guard and Wright would be able to step in immediately and provide a strong defensive presence.
Where Wright ends up is anyone's guess at this point. The draft order is likely to shift Thursday night with trades occurring and NBA teams are know to deal newly acquired players mere minutes after drafting them. Wright's future remains up in the air, but you can watch how it unfolds Thursday night at 5pm MT on ESPN.