One story line that has gone relatively under the radar in Dubs Land is that the Warriors have yet to pick up Brandan Wright's 4th year rookie option. The team has until October 31st to make their decision, but I"m little surprised that they haven't made a decision already. Is there really anything in training camp or the preseason that is going to change their mind? I guess you can't fault them for playing it safe, but it'd be nice to send a clear message roughly a month before the season that a) they have faith in him or b) he better make big improvements in his game or he should start packing his bags like Patrick O'Bryant.
Jump for more of the Wright stuff...
Over at NBA.com John Schuhmann takes a look at some names from the 2007 NBA Draft who are running out of time to develop and Wright unsurprisingly made the list:
It wasn't too hard to see this coming. As a freshman with length and athleticism, but one who was inconsistent and not nearly the best player on his college team, Wright was drafted for potential. Two years later, it has yet to be realized. Worse yet, we've seen the same things at Golden State that we saw at North Carolina.
Injuries were an issue last season, but so were inconsistency and the whims of Warriors coach Don Nelson. Of course, the Warriors also have a slew of players that do the same things that Wright can do, only better -- such as rising second-year forward Anthony Randolph.
It's very possible that the Warriors won't pick up Wright's fourth-year option by Oct. 31, making him an unrestricted free agent next summer. A change of scenery might not be a bad solution for the forward who doesn't turn 22 for another two months.
Earlier this offseason we discussed this in Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli: To Renew or Not to Renew. The Warriors obviously didn't renew Marco Belinelli, instead electing to ship him out the country, so that's a non-issue.
One down, one to go?
Here's my unchanged thoughts on Wright and the renewal:
Brandan Wright: Picking up Wright's 4th year option seems like a no-brainer to me. He is an extremely talented, big man with Inspector Gadget like wingspan. He's still only 21 too, so I doubt we've seen his peak. Current Warrior double-double machine Andris Biedrins was a complete disaster his first 2 seasons in the league. Wright has been bad, but not nearly as bad as Biedrins was and Biedrins definitely blossomed. Wright is far more naturally hoops talented and physically gifted than Biedrins, so maybe there's hope for Wright too in year 3 and beyond.
Wright has shown very little of the right stuff in his first 2 seasons.
Reality is the problem though. Wright has been injury-prone, absolutely lost on defense, and has shown less fire than a cigarette lighter. There are some huge physical red flags: he's a 6'9 "big man" who still weighs about 20 pounds less than the shooting guard the Warriors foolishly traded him for and his body looks very, very brittle. Additionally, there are some huge mental red flags: he doesn't seem all that prepared or cognizant of what the Dubs are trying to run on offense and his man-to-man defensive instincts and positioning are very, very poor.
As an aside, I must admit I do feel bad for him. All signs and indications point to the Warriors never really wanting Wright. He was (most likely) a mistaken selection for the Minnesota Timberwolves (way to work the phones Chris Mullin). Then he was (most likely) part of a failed attempt to land Kevin Garnett, before old green buddies Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale decided collusion was the best way to hook up their alma matter with another banner. Just recently Wright was part of a failed attempt to land Amare Stoudemire. Since day 1 the Warriors have been trying to ship off Wright. I don't doubt for a second that this has dramatically hurt his psyche.
I'd say: Pick up for year 4.
Brandan Wright: To Renew or Not to Renew? That is the question.