It’s a scenario that plays out almost every year. A young player on an NBA team is deserving of minutes, but there is no opportunity to play on the team that drafted him and the Toronto Raptors 2015 first round draft pick Delon Wright is a perfect example. He deserves a chance to play in the NBA. So, unless something changes, finding a way to “free” Wright is going to be crossing his agent’s mind in the very near future.
Wright’s situation went from doubtful to abysmal when he injured his shoulder in NBA Summer League and the Raptors picked up the undrafted Fred VanVleet as their third string point guard. Now that Wright is finally back, he finds himself on a rehab assignment with the Raptors 905 in Mississauga and fourth on the point guard depth chart in Toronto.
Completely off the radar because he hasn’t played, Wright wasn’t sitting around moping as he waited for medical clearance to play. A shoulder injury didn’t stop him from working out and he’s been putting up shots for the better part of a month.
“I feel good,” Wright told Pro Bball Report before Christmas. “Happy to be back getting some shots up and working out.
“Nothing happened to my confidence. I don’t see not going back to what I was doing.”
And what he was doing at the end of last season was pretty impressive. In four appearances with the Raptors in April, Wright averaged 14.3 points, on 53.8 percent shooting, 3.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1 steal and 0.8 blocks in 26.7 minutes as Toronto went 3-1 in those games. He put up a career high 19 points against a Pacers team fighting for it’s playoff life.
In his first game back with the Raptors 905 this season, Wright managed an impressive 10 points, 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocked shots in 21 minutes as the 905 defeated Texas 114-108, quickly shedding any rust and proving his conditioning is already pretty good.
“My minutes were limited,” Wright said after the game. “For the time I was out there, I felt good. I wasn’t too tired or anything.”
The NBA often isn’t “fair” to young players, but if Wright is lucky, some other NBA team will see the obvious potential in this 6′ 5.5″ point guard and have the need and the desire to give him minutes, plus the willingness to give Raptors president Masai Ujiri sufficient return in trade to pry him away.