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Toronto Raptors Delon Wright

Delon Wright Near Triple-Double With Raptors 905

Toronto Raptors rookie point guard Delon Wright just missed the triple-double in his second game with the 905 as he scored 20 points on 8-14 shooting from the field and 2-3 from three-point range to go with 8 dimes, 8 boards, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 37 minutes of action.

 

 
The fans at the Hersey Centre were treated to an exciting game with a boatload of scoring. The 905 leading the Delaware 87ers 90-85 thru three-quarters, but fortunately they gave up a 40 point fourth quarter to the visitors and fell 125-109.

Toronto Raptors forward Bruno Caboclo had 17 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks in 37.6 minutes, but his shooting struggles continued as he shot just 6-20 from the field. Caboclo did hit on 4-11 three-point attempts. Raptors training camp invitee Ronald Roberts Jr had a team-high 22 points to go with 9 rebounds, a steal and 3 blocks. After the game, Roberts said he was impressed with the strong fan support in Mississauga.

The 905 are back in action Saturday, December 5 when the club plays host to the Grand Rapids 87ers at home in Mississauga at 2 p.m.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Press Release:

RECAP: DELAWARE 87ERS – 125, RAPTORS 905 – 109

Delaware’s Kilpatrick records game-high 37 points

           Delaware 87ers guard Sean Kilpatrick recorded 16 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth quarter to lift his team to a 125-109 comeback win over Raptors 905 Sunday afternoon at Hershey Centre in Mississauga.

          Raptors 905 jumped out to a 37-23 lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 16 at one point midway through the second quarter, but the 87ers went on a 13-5 run to finish off the second frame and cut the deficit to 58-52 at halftime. From there, Delaware put up 73 second-half points and outscored Raptors 905 40-19 in the final period to seal the comeback win.

          In addition to Kilpatrick’s 37 points for the 87ers, Jordan McRae had 31 points to go with a game-high nine assists and eight rebounds, while Ladarius White (13), David Laury (13) and Gary Talton each had double-digit points off the bench and John Bohannon had a game-high 12 rebounds. For Raptors 905, Ronald Roberts had team-highs in points (22) and rebounds (nine), while Delon Wright registered 20 points, a team-high eight assists and eight rebounds. Bruno Caboclo (17), Axel Toupane (17) and Jay Harris (10) rounded out the offensive leaders for Raptors 905.

          Raptors 905 led Delaware in points in the paint (50-46) and second-chance points (25-15), while the 87ers led in field goal percentage (48.8-42.7), three point percentage (52.0-35.5), free throw percentage (77.8-61.5) and fast-break points (20-14).

Raptors 905 is back in action Saturday, December 5 when the club plays host to the Grand Rapids 87ers at Hershey Centre in Mississauga at 2 p.m.

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Delon Wright

Raptors Delon Wright Dominates In D-League Debut

The Toronto Raptors sent rookie point guard Delon Wright across town to play for the Raptors 905 in Mississauga and the rookie point guard had a dominating offensive performance in his NBA D-League debut. Wright shot 9-9 from the field and 5-5 from the line in 37.5 minutes to lead his team with 24 points as the 905 won their second game of the season, a 93-91 victory over the Idaho Stampede. Wright firing the pass to a wide-open Scott Suggs for the game-winning three-pointer with 6.4 seconds left.

 

 

“It was good to finally get some playing time and I was happy that we won,” Wright said.

Wright hasn’t seen much playing time in Toronto as the third string point guard behind Kyle Lowry and Cory Joseph and unless someone gets hurt, this isn’t a situation that’s about to change.

“It’s tough,” Wright said. “It’s part of being a pro. It’s tough not playing. Just have to come in every day and continue to work hard, control what you can control and get better.”

Raptors forward Bruno Caboclo is also playing with the 905 and he had a better shooting night than in most of his previous D-League starts going 5-9 from the field for 12 points to go with 5 boards in 19 minutes of action. The local 7’5 giant Sim Bhullar was on the court for 13.2 minutes and contributed 7 points and 3 rebounds as he works himself into game shape.

The 905 victory was overshadowed by the Raptors big win over the Cleveland Cavaliers that was happening at the same time at the Air Canada Center. However, these D-League games are important contests for the Raptors players assigned to Mississauga. They need to play and advance their skills and conditioning in case they are needed later in the season.

The next game for the 905 is against the Delaware 87ers at Hershey Centre in Mississauga at 2 p.m on Sunday.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Press Release:

RECAP: RAPTORS 905 – 93, IDAHO STAMPEDE – 91

Delon Wright records game-high 24 points in NBA D-League debut

Raptors 905 guard Scott Suggs hit a three-point shot with 6.4 seconds to play to break an 89-89 tie and put Raptors 905 ahead for good in a 93-91 win over the Idaho Stampede Wednesday night at Hershey Centre in Mississauga. The victory was Raptors 905’s first at home in franchise history.

Raptors 905 jumped out to a 57-37 lead at the half, buoyed by a 30-12 second quarter. In the first two quarters, Raptors 905 shot 66.7 percent (22-for-33) from the field and 45.5 percent from three-point range (5-for-11). Delon Wright, in his first NBA Development League game, shot six-for-six from the field, one-for-one from three-point range and three-for-three from the foul line for 16 points at halftime.

Idaho went on a 12-0 run to start second half and carried the eight-point deficit into the fourth quarter. Raptors 905 regained a 14-point lead in the final period, before the Stampede came roaring back to tie the game with 1:16 to play.

Wright’s shooting stayed perfect in the second half as he finished nine-for-nine from the field and five-for-five on free throws to finish with a shared game-high of 24 points. Also reaching double digits in points for Raptors 905 were Scott Suggs (20), Bruno Caboclo (12) and Ronald Roberts (11). Roberts added a game-high 13 rebounds to complete the double-double in his season debut. He missed the previous five games with a sprained ankle.

Sharing the game high in points with Wright was Idaho’s Jack Cooley, who also finished with a team-high 12 rebounds for his club’s only double-double. Other top offensive producers for the Stampede included Brandon Fields (20 points, nine assists), J.J. O’Brien (14 points) and EJ Singler (12 points).

Raptors 905 led Idaho in field goal percentage (50.8-42.2), free throw percentage (74.2-57.1) and fast-break points (8-4), while the Stampede led in three-point percentage (34.6-31.6), points in the paint (44-38) and second-chance points (13-4).

Raptors 905 is back in action Sunday, Nov. 29 when the club plays host to the Delaware 87ers at Hershey Centre in Mississauga at 2 p.m.

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Delon Wright

Raptors Rookie Delon Wright To Play In Mississauga

The Toronto Raptors have assigned rookie guard Delon Wright to their NBA D-League affiliate Mississauga Raptors 905.

Wright had only played a total of 10 minutes in 4 games with the Raptors so far this season with little to show for it. He was 0-4 shooting from the field with 0 points, assists, steals, blocks and free throw attempts, plus 1 turnover and 1 personal foul. Wright did manage to collect 4 rebounds.

Powell & Wright web

Head coach Dwane Casey has shown significantly more interest in playing his other rookie guard Norman Powell who has played 55 minutes in 8 games and has contributed 10 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Powell still looks like a rookie, but he has been making an impression with boundless youthful exuberance.

The Raptors took Wright 20th overall in the draft because he looked more NBA ready than the alternatives and they needed a third string point guard. That assessment could still prove to be correct, but Wright needs to play and the Raptors 905 will give him that opportunity.

“You have to be comfortable really fast,” Wright told Pro Bball Report. “Just because it’s a long season. Injuries happen, different things happen so you can’t just think you got the whole year to be ready. You got to get ready kind of fast so when your time comes you can’t be dragging, you got to help the team out.”

The young point guard is going to get a lot of minutes with the 905 according to head coach Jesse Mermuys. One of Mermuys’  top priorities is to get the Raptors players assigned to him ready to play for Coach Casey as quickly as possible.

“I have already explained to Shannon (Scott) in front of the team, you can be getting a triple-double down here, (but) if Delon (Wright) comes down, he is going to play,” Mermuys said. “And that’s okay because that is why we all are here and have this opportunity.

“We are really going to do the best we can as a coaching staff to keep development at the forefront of our mind game in and game out.”

Wright is expected to be in the lineup Wednesday night when Raptors 905 hosts the Idaho Stampede at Hershey Centre in Mississauga at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Norman Powell & Delon Wright

Raptors Rookies And Sophomores Chances Fading Fast

The NBA preseason can represent a chance for inexperienced rookies and sophomores to make an impression on coaches and on a team like the Raptors where there are really no open spots in the rotation, it can be the last chance before an eventual assignment to the Raptors 905 in the NBA D-League. With preseason rapidly coming to a conclusion, the opportunities for rookies Delon Wright and Norman Powell and sophomores Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira to make an impression are fading fast.

“(Powell) is making a lot of mistakes like all rookies, but that’s what preseason is for – to give those guys minutes – Bruno (Caboclo) minutes, Norm (Powell) minutes, Delon (Wright) minutes, all those guys minutes,” explained head coach Dwane Casey. “(They) probably won’t be in the rotation when it becomes real, but this was a great time for those guys to get the experience, to get a taste of the NBA. For Delon to go against a guy like Andre Miller who’s a 20-year vet is a great experience for him. For Bruno to go against Tayshaun Prince is a great experience for him. So that’s what it’s for. No more, no less.”

Casey has been through the very rough patches that come with developing very young players and as the returning Atlantic Division winner with an available rotation of young and not so young veterans, he isn’t going to have a lot of patience for guys that he expects to make a lot of mistakes.

Guys like guard Norman Powell, who plays with a lot of energy and aggressiveness, but has a lot to learn. Powell has earned more playing time in the preseason than anyone else not expected to crack the rotation, averaging 16 minutes per game and 7 points on 44.4 percent shooting. It’s impossible not to notice him on the court, but as far as the Raptors rotation goes, he’s behind DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross and Cory Joseph. However, Powell is someone to watch this season, especially if Toronto runs into some injury problems with a couple of guards.

Wright has averaged 10 minutes a game so far in preseason and those veteran guards he’s gone up against have – on occasion – given him the rookie treatment. Wright looked great in summer league, but preseason play is well below the level of the regular season and it’s shown he still needs some more seasoning before being turned loose in a real game.

Caboclo has averaged 15 minutes in four preseason games and has looked a lot better than he did at the end of last season. He is showing more confidence and a better understanding of were he should be on the court. If the Raptors were a rebuilding team, he’d see a lot of minutes, but on this team, he needs to get his experience down the road in Mississauga.

Unfortunately, Nogueira is hurt again and that has to be a concern. The sophomore has a history of hamstring and groin injuries that have prevented the athletic 7-footer from displaying his potential. He needs to get and stay healthy, if only to work on his game with the Raptors 905.

Casey has made it clear not to read too much into anything you’ve seen in preseason to-date. These are not necessarily the combinations or rotations he’ll use in the regular season. “Normal” rotations won’t really be in effect until the final two preseason games against the Cavaliers in Toronto and the Wizards in Washington.

“I wouldn’t look at anything as far as rotations go,” Casey said. “We are just trying to get guys some minutes on the court more so than combinations or anything like that.

“Last couple of games (you’ll see real lineups), I’d say. We probably do it more in practice than in these games.”

Nothing here is really a surprise. Preseason is longer than necessary. Veteran players use the preseason to try out some things and shake off the rust. Coaches use the preseason to get a look at the young players under contract and guys on training camp invites they might need later in the season, next season or just to keep tabs on them.

As expected, none of the young guys has taken a spot in the rotation away from from a veteran during preseason and their chances for doing so are fading fast, but there’s a long regular season coming. Someone, at some point, for some yet to be determined reason, is going to get their shot.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

NBA Toronto Raptors Norman Powell & Delon Wright

Raptors Rookie Delon Wright Knows A Good Thing When He Sees It

The Raptors took a pair of college seniors in this year’s draft in part because they should be more NBA ready. However, as impressive as Delon Wright and Norman Powell were in Summer League and hopefully will continue to show progress during preseason, there is really no way for any rookie to really know what he has gotten himself into at the NBA level until he plays in some real games.

 

Delon Wright interview:

 

“I don’t honestly,” Wright told Pro Bball Report. “I am just trying to learn as much as possible. I don’t know what I am getting into, but I know it’s a good thing.”

Both of these players have shown the right kind of attitude and effort that confirms the Raptors drafted well. However, even with the advantage of having a brother (Dorell Wright) in the NBA and playing four years in college, there’s a huge difference between being told about the league, playing with pros in the summer and actually being on the big stage yourself. Things happen fast now. This isn’t like college and Wright knows it.

“Where college is more of a month long process, this is a one week process and the season is here,” Wright said. “You got to be more prepared.

“Overall with the younger guys they taught us the defensive schemes, how to play the pick and roll, little things like that. They didn’t pinpoint one thing, there was a lot of things to expect.”

All rookies lack experience, but Toronto has someone who has been here before and had to fight for playing time. Cory Joseph didn’t have anything handed to him in San Antonio and spent much of his first two NBA seasons on the bench or in the D-League before making a significant impact on a veteran-laden team in years three and four.

“We’ve talked,” Wright said. “We’ve been around each other for about two weeks now.

“If I have question. If he sees something. He can show me the way. Besides that, I think experience will be the best helper.”

Both Wright and Powell know where they sit on the Raptors depth chart and bearing a number of injuries to the regular rotation players, minutes after preseason are more likely to be found in Mississauga with the Raptors 905 than at the Air Canada Centre. Until then, these Raptors rookies should be a lot of fun to watch.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Delon Wright 55 web 2Raptors Rookie Delon Wright Is NBA Ready Now

“He is a little older than your normal 19 or 20-year-old coming in today, but that’s good,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s a kid that’s been around the NBA, knows the NBA, talked about the NBA with his brother.”

 

 

Norman PowellRaptors Athletic Scorer And Defender Norman Powell

“My toughness and defense, that’s something that translates to the NBA really well and my athleticism, I am able to get up into guys and create on the break and finish at the rim and at the free throw line. Athleticism and defense are things you can go on from day one and compete.

 

 

 

POR_Wright_Dorell

Raptors Should Target Free Agent Forward Dorell Wright

The Toronto Raptors roster is set save for one open position that could either go to another young player expected to head immediately to the NBA D-League or an NBA veteran who could mentor and fill in as needed during the regular season. With rookies Delon Wright and Norman Powell already signed and sophomores Bruno Caboclo and Lucas Nogueira returning, one might expect the decision about what type of player would prove to be the most useful next season should be a no-brainer.

Of course President and General Manager Masai Ujiri could just leave the 15th roster spot open, but with the team so far below the luxury tax line that there is no chance of getting there, picking up a minimum salary player who could prove useful just seems like the logical thing to do.

The Raptors own free agent Tyler Hansbrough is still out there and he proved his worth last season as a young veteran player who willingly played out of position at center and always hustled no matter the role or the minutes Head coach Dwane Casey gave him. The 29-year-old should be holding out for a chance to join a team that at least has a backup role of some kind he could fill. The Raptors just don’t have any minutes for him and would likely give Nogueira first shot at any that did come available. Still Hansbrough would be a great practice player if he wants the job?

However, there is another intriguing 29-year-old veteran who might eventually find a role or at least provide support to the rookies and a very interesting story line. Dorell Wright is an 11-year NBA veteran who won a championship with the Heat as a young player. The brother of Raptors rookie Delon is a three-point shooting backup small forward who has averaged 36.5 percent on 3.1 three-point attempts over his NBA career.

Dorell missed the end of last season with Portland when he broke his left hand. The injury eventually needed surgery, but he was back on the court in early June, so it would be safe to assume he’s likely going to be ready by the start of the season.

Dorell has already been active in helping his younger brother Delon with the transition to the NBA and it has become apparent their is a lot of family support available for the Raptors rookie – support that would only be stronger if Dorell was playing in Toronto. Dorell only played three games with the Heat as a rookie and just 20 games the next season before getting his chance to finally contribute meaningful minutes the year after his team won a championship. He has real life experience that could benefit all of the Raptors rookies and sophomores.

Like Hansbrough, Dorell Wright would have to be comfortable without a spot in the rotation at the start of the season and accept mentoring younger players that would get the first crack at minutes if injuries opened up some playing time.

Deciding what to do with a team’s 15th roster spot shouldn’t be critical on a team expecting to win a Division title and it’s not. However, any small advantage a final player coming into a team can provide that might help down the road should get some serious consideration.

 

 


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

 

 

Wright and Powell

Raptors Wright And Powell Talk Defense At Summer League

The Toronto Raptors 2015 NBA draft picks Delon Wright and Norman Powell were at their first day of practice for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and talked to the Raptors Akil Augustine about their expectations and goals. Not surprisingly, these two fairly mature young guards had a lot to say about defense.
 

Delon Wright

 
“They brought me here as a defensive guy,” Wright said. “So they expect me to play good defense.

“Every team I’ve played for they expect me to play defense. I’m not really a scoring type of guard.”
 

Norman Powell

 
“Establish myself on the defensive end,” Powell said. ” My game really builds off of that, the energy and the grit and toughness I bring on the defensive end really fuels everything I do on the court and to know that this team is shifting in that way, being more defensive oriented and locking down guys is what I am willing to show.”

 

After listening to the Raptors two young guards talk about expectations at Summer League, there should be no mystery about where this team is headed once the regular season starts.

 

 

Delon Wright web

Raptors Delon Wright Inks His Rookie Contract

Raptors Press Release:

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have signed guard Delon Wright from the University of Utah to his rookie scale contract. He is under contract through the 2016-17 season, with two team option years to follow. The Raptors selected Wright with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wright, 6-foot-5, 190 pounds, was named the 2015 recipient of the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s top point guard. A first-team All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 Defensive Team selection, Wright averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals in 35 games last season. As a junior, he contributed 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.5 steals in 33 contests earning first-team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honours.

Wright is the brother of Portland Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright.

Wright will join the team for Samsung NBA Summer League 2015 in Las Vegas. The Raptors will open the preliminary round of the tournament Friday, July 10 against the reigning Summer League champion Sacramento Kings at Thomas & Mack Center (3:30 p.m. PT / 6:30 p.m. ET).

wrightRaptors Draft Big Point Guard Delon Wright

Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri didn’t take any risks this time as he drafts Utah Senior, 23-year-old, Delon Wright. Averaging 15 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 blocks, Wright was a two-time All PAC-12 Conference First Team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team choice over his two seasons in Utah.

 

Delon Wright 55 webRaptors Rookie Delon Wright Is NBA Ready Now

“Everything was easy for him,” Casey said. “He doesn’t get speed up against pressure. Watching games or even in the workouts, we saw enough to know what we saw in the tapes was real as far as he doesn’t get sped up or get excited in double-teams. In pick-and-rolls, he doesn’t get excited when a guy jumps up to show. He makes the easy pass. That was something that we noticed and it is going to help a lot.”

 

 

NBA rookie Delon Wright 55

Raptors Rookie Delon Wright Is NBA Ready Now

Last summer Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri brought in more offensive talent and a not ready for prime time rookie in 18-year-old Bruno Caboclo. This time Ujiri seems to be looking for defense-oriented players and more NBA ready rookies like his 23-year-old first round draft pick Delon Wright and even possibly Norman Powell.

Wright was a two-time All PAC-12 Conference First Team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team choice over his junior and senior seasons in Utah and won the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. The Cousy Award is named after the Celtics six-time NBA champion Bob Cousy and since Jameer Nelson was the first recipient in 2004, every winner has gone on to play in the NBA with at least some measure of success. Of note, college seniors have won the award six times. Greivis Vasquez, who Wright appears to be replacing in Toronto, won in 2010.

One of the big factors in Wright’s college success has been the influence and opportunities coming from his older brother Dorell who has spent the past 11 seasons in the NBA. Dorell Wright won an NBA Championship with Miami in his second season and has played on four NBA teams over his career.

“He is a little older than your normal 19 or 20-year-old coming in today, but that’s good,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s a kid that’s been around the NBA, knows the NBA, talked about the NBA with his brother.

“Rookies are rookies and some rookies are younger than others and he is a rookie coming in, but I don’t think he is going to be overwhelmed. Even if he was 19 or 20, he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the NBA just because of his relationship with his brother. He has grown up around the NBA. He has been to numerous NBA games, worked out with NBA players, so he is not going to come in shell-shocked to go against (NBA) guys in practice.”

That experience and influence showed in his college game and was confirmed during predraft workouts. Wright is ahead of most NBA rookies.

“Everything was easy for him,” Casey said. “He doesn’t get speed up against pressure. Watching games or even in the workouts, we saw enough to know what we saw in the tapes was real as far as he doesn’t get sped up or get excited in double-teams. In pick-and-rolls, he doesn’t get excited when a guy jumps up to show. He makes the easy pass. That was something that we noticed and it is going to help a lot.

“Everyone we talked to loved him as a player, loved him as a teammate and that’s huge. Chemistry is an important thing that you look for.”

With the Raptors slipping defensively last season, Ujiri went back to his original line of thought and drafted Casey players that fit how his head coach likes to play. While Wright has upside potential on offense, his defense likely transfers to the NBA almost right away.

“Defending, (Wright) takes so much pride in it, he loves it,” Ujiri said. “He is also a good passer. We interviewed tons of his teammates and they loved playing with him. He gets them the ball in the right place, that’s character, he’s such a great kid. He has got good size. It was attractive for us.”

“Even a couple of NBA players tweeted and congratulated him because they know him. He plays a lot of ball in L.A. in the summer with all these guys. He’s a (basketball) junkie and you want these kind of guys.”

Perhaps it should no longer come as a surprise, but Wright even knows the Raptors DeMar DeRozan (is there anyone DeMar doesn’t know?) and he talked to him after the draft, DeRozan promising to look after him when he gets to Toronto.

“I’d say the first year of high school,” Wright explained. “We had a spring league at my school and (DeRozan’s) team would come play our varsity team, so I was always watching,” Wright said. “One of my friends, he actually knew DeMar so we got introduced like that and for the past three summers we played in the Drew league against each other and we met like that again.”

While the Drew league isn’t the NBA, it does feature a mix of professional and amateur players and is a great place for a college player to have their eyes opened about the skills players have at the next level.

“It’s fun for a guy like me because I was trying to make a name for myself,” Wright said. “I was playing with my brother and just playing against talent that was better than me at the time. It was real fun. I used that really to test my skills and try to prove that I could play on a par with them.”

Wright didn’t have to go back for his senior season at Utah. He could have come out early and he would have been a first round draft pick. However, when he told his parents he wanted to leave school, his Dad, brother and coaches all jump on him to stay and graduate and it was a very proud father at the ACC telling everyone his son had gotten his degree. Even Delon seems happy with the decision to stay after the fact.

“Actually to be honest, I told my coach I was leaving,” Wright confirmed. “He was out of town and he said wait, before you submit your papers, let’s have a meeting. We talked for about two hours, me and our assistant coach. He told me the pros and cons of making that decision and I believed him that I could come back and have a better year. My parents and my brother told me to come back too. I didn’t want to go against all those decisions. I wanted to come back and get my degree.

“I wasn’t ready to go to the NBA last year. This year, I was more prepared. I know what I have to do to get better, work on my body. I know what teams wanted from me, so I think my senior year really helped me.”

One way or another Casey is going to have to find minutes for the Raptors 2015 first round draft pick. He’ll probably have some rookie jitters early on, but with this kid, they shouldn’t last long. Wright, like Vasquez before him, isn’t afraid of what’s ahead of him and has the confidence necessary to have some success as a rookie and unlike Vasquez, this kid should earn minutes at the defensive end of the court. In Casey’s world that should count for a lot.

 

 
Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

Norman PowellRaptors Athletic Scorer And Defender Norman Powell

“My toughness and defense, that’s something that translates to the NBA really well and my athleticism, I am able to get up into guys and create on the break and finish at the rim and at the free throw line. Athleticism and defense are things you can go on from day one and compete.”

wright

Raptors Draft Big Point Guard Delon Wright

Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri didn’t take any risks this time as he drafts Utah Senior, 23-year-old, Delon Wright. Averaging 15 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 blocks, Wright was a two-time All PAC-12 Conference First Team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team choice over his two seasons in Utah.

A top-ranked college point guard, Wright was a finalist for the Cousy Award last year. At 6′ 5.5″, Wright easily sees over defenses and his size should enable him to guard both guard spots in the NBA. Draft Express describes him as:

He uses his height to his advantage tremendously as a passer, where he surveys the floor over the top of the defenses, and can make pinpoint passes to cutters and spot-up shooters, primarily in pick and roll and drive and dish situations.

Wright’s best attribute from a NBA standpoint is likely his defense. He has quick feet, excellent instincts and a scrappy nature, putting outstanding pressure on the ball. His instincts for getting in the passing lanes and overall timing for making plays off the ball is extraordinary.

Wright worked out in Toronto prior to the draft and his scrappy nature on defense was likely the deciding factor in his selection.

“He is one of the top defensive point guards in the draft,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “A kid who is not going to be overly excited by the NBA being a brother of (Trail Blazers) Dorell (Wright). One thing he does is defend in pick-and-roll very well. Great kid, great character, good team guy and a really excellent passer.

“We are excited to get him. He is one of the guys with a tremendous upside. Reminds me a lot of Nate McMillan. (Supersonics guard from 86-98 and two-time NBA All-Defensive second team)”