By the Numbers:
26 games, (11 starts) 30.8 minutes per game, 12.2 points per game, 43.4% field goal shooting, 25.6% 3-point shooting, 16.6 PER, 110 offensive rating, 107 defensive rating
Season in Review:
Delon Wright was viewed by many as one of main pieces of the Marc Gasol trade, along with Jonas Valanciunas. During his time in Toronto, Wright was always known as a guy who still possessed upside, despite already being 26 years old, which is older than it seems by NBA standards.
Despite not having a consistent 3-point shot, Wright found little trouble putting the ball in the basket during his first foray in Memphis. Wright combines excellent on-court speed, awareness, and dribble penetration skill to score down low with remarkable effectiveness. In his brief time with the Grizzlies, Wright shot just over 50% on his two point attempts. Given that these shots accounted for over 70% of his total shots, that is pretty impressive.
Wright really made a name for himself at the end of the season, becoming the starting point guard in Mike Conley’s absence and really took advantage of the opportunity he was given. Wright recorded his first career triple-double in a win over the Mavericks, and recorded two more over Memphis’ final three games of the season. With these three efforts, Wright already has etched his name into the Grizzlies record books, he is second in career triple doubles for Memphis, only behind the man he was traded for.
Delon was a true bright spot at the end of another tumultuous season for the Grizzlies. He gave the fans a name to cheer for and look forward to, something they didn’t really have after Jaren Jackson Jr. went down for the year.
Delon Wright is now currently a restricted free agent, and Memphis has until June 29 to at least tender a qualifying offer. If Wright enters restricted free agency, his late-season statistical explosion could potentially drive his price point higher than it might have been, but look for Memphis to match any offer within reason.
Barring a huge offer for his services, Wright should be back next year. In his first chance to really prove what he is capable of, Delon took full advantage and surprised a lot of people in the process. While some may point out that he is just old enough to not fit the timeline of a full-scale rebuild, (assuming that’s the direction Memphis decides to take) he’s decidedly worth keeping around.