Mavericks add more backcourt depth with Delon Wright sign-and-trade

Ben Weinrib
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
Memphis Grizzlies guard Delon Wright (2) drives past Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas, Friday, April 5, 2019. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Point guard Delon Wright will add more depth to the Mavericks' backcourt. (AP)

The Dallas Mavericks entered the offseason hoping to add another star to their backcourt in Kemba Walker. But with those hopes dashed even before the free agency period technically began, they’ve instead filled out their roster with several key role players.

Six days after landing Seth Curry on a four-year deal, the Mavericks agreed to a sign-and-trade for Memphis Grizzlies point guard Delon Wright on Sunday.

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Dallas will send two second-round picks and give Wright a three-year, $29 million deal. The details of which picks will be involved have not been revealed, but the Mavs own at least one second rounder in each draft going forward, including two in the 2021 and 2023 drafts.

Mavericks add key depth for potential playoff run

Adding an All-Star to pair with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis would have been an enormous boost to their playoff odds, but the Mavericks are trying to make lemonade out of lemons with several smaller additions.

Curry is a sharpshooter they desperately needed after they finished 26th in the league at 34 percent from beyond the arc. However, Wright is not expected to contribute there with a career 33.2 percent mark -- including just 29.8 percent last season.

Wright, 27, has excellent size for a point guard at 6-foot-5 and is more comfortable cutting to the rim and drawing fouls. He uses that size well on defense and is a versatile defender who should be useful on the second unit.

Nearly $10 million per season may be hefty for a guard who has not shown the ability to shoot, but the Mavericks are banking on him sustaining a breakout that began when the Grizzlies gave him a bigger role in his last 26 games of the season. In 30.8 minutes per game, he averaged 12.2 points, 5.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game.

The Grizzlies’ rebuild continues

The Grit and Grind days of the Grizzlies are well over, but the team continues to benefit from the fruits of those teams.

Wright landed in Memphis last February when the Grizzlies sent their face of the franchise, Marc Gasol, to the Toronto Raptors, so the team essentially gained a second and third draft pick in addition to the 2024 second-rounder they acquired in the original deal.

As for the rest of that trade, they’ve since dealt C.J. Miles for $3.1 million in cap space and re-signed Jonas Valanciunas to a three-year, $45 million deal.

With their first-round draft pick only top-6 protected next season, the Grizzlies are heavily incentivized to tank in 2019-20. They’ll have a chance to build around Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, and with more cap space to work with, they can potentially take on a bad contract and recoup even more assets for a rebuild.

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