Memphis doesn't need Brandan Wright to be a superstar; they need him to back up a superstar, and he has all the qualities to be able to do it.
Wright joined his home state team on a 3 year, $17 million deal, which is a very friendly contract when you consider some of the crazy deals that were thrown towards NBA big men over the summer. Ed Davis (3 year, $20 million), Kosta Koufos (4 year, $33 million), Omer Asik (5 year, $60 million), and Aron Baynes (3 year, $20 million) will all earn more than Wright over the course of his Grizzlies contract. It makes Wright's contract look very friendly doesn't it?
We know exactly what we will get from Wright as well. He'll take the vast majority of his shots at the rim, connect on alley-oops, and block shots on the defensive end. He'll become a very valuable asset to the Grizzlies' second unit, and I expect him to link up well with Beno Udrih.
Wright's 2014-15 shot chart shows just 26 shots attempted outside the paint, but it's inside the paint we're interested in here. Wright connected on 66.2% of his shots inside the painted area last season (334 attempts). Kosta Koufos, the man he will replace for the Grizzlies, took 333 shots inside the paint last season, making 182 of those efforts, or 54.7%. Wright took just 1 more shot than Kosta Koufos in the paint last season, but made 39 more than him.
Images courtesy of vorped.com
We should also get used to seeing Wright get involved in the fastbreak when the opportunity comes:
We should see plenty of blocks:
And endless high flying dunks:
You might also find a place for him in your heart if he can do this again next season:
Wright's per game stats might not look too impressive (thanks mainly to spending the majority of his career as a bench player), but if we look at his per 36 minutes stats, we can get an idea of how important he should become for the second unit. Over the course of his career, Wright has averaged 2.2 blocks, 1.0 steals, 8.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 15.6 points per 36 minutes. Pretty impressive for a player who will earn just $17 million over the next 3 years, even more so as we head towards an age when NBA salaries are set to shoot through the roof.
Embrace him. Grizzlies fans. Brandan Wright will be a player who will bring us some fantastic entertainment over the next few years. I predict he will go on to become one of the greatest Grizzlies backup big men of all time!