We took a look at what Brandan Wright could potentially bring to the Grizzlies in a film breakdown from Andrew Ford last week, but now it's time to get some insider perspective from someone who's spent plenty of time watching Wright last year; we welcome Dave King from SB Nation's Bright Side of the Sun.
What do you think the Phoenix Suns will miss most about Brandan Wright, both offensively and defensively?
Wright brought some high-flying to the front court, something missing from a starting line of Alex Len, Markieff Morris and P.J. Tucker. While those guys are athletic, they don't live above the rim like Wright does. I expect you could say the same about a Gasol/Randolph front court. Tons of talent (much more than the Suns), but mostly below the rim. Wright is an excellent shot blocker on D, and on offense is really fun watching on pick-and-roll finishes. I expect Mike Conley will manage more lobs finishes than the Suns guards did last spring, which will bring the crowds to their feet.
How do you believe Wright will be a good fit for the Memphis Grizzlies?
I think he will be a fun change of pace for you. He brings fans out of their seats at least 2-3 times a game on short minutes with lob finishes or spectacular blocks. And, off the court, he's one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. He won't complain about being a bench player. On the contrary, he appreciates being in the NBA and just providing whatever the team needs - something a lot of players say, but only a few actually believe.
Do you have a favorite play or moment of Wright during his tenure with the Suns?
Any lob finish on the break is a joy to watch. It's just amazing how high Brandan goes to get the ball - it's like his arms are longer than his body sometimes. You just launch the ball in the air and somehow Brandan finds it and finishes, even when it's 3-4 feet over the rim on the catch. You don't believe it till you see it.
How do you believe Wright's athleticism will boost the Grizzlies?
He's got excellent body control when he's not being knocked around, so getting him moving on offense is the best way to get him involved. He's a really fun pick-and-roll finisher, but we didn't get to see that in Phoenix as much as we should have.
Do you believe that Wright is an upgrade over Kosta Koufos for the Grizzlies? If so, how?
It's good you are comparing him to Koufos here. Wright is definitely a center, even though his physical profile is more of a PF at 6'9", 220. You'll want to spot him at PF, but you shouldn't. He doesn't have enough of an offensive game to carry that off. In 20 minutes a game, he will bring fresh energy, block a couple of shots and score about 8-10 points all near the rim on putbacks and dunks. Is he an upgrade over Koufos though? Depends on what you want. They are very different players.
A big thanks to Dave for sharing his time with us. In theory, this is a pretty exciting addition to the Grizzlies roster even if it comes with the loss of the ever-hookshooting Kosta Koufos. Only time will tell exactly how Wright fits in with the Grizzlies, and we'll get our first glimpse in about 3 months from now.