Memphis extended the qualifying offer tender to guard Delon Wright, who will now be a restricted free agent, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Wright had a strong finish for the Grizzlies last season.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2019
The Memphis Grizzlies made the move many expected them to make today, as they extended a qualifying offer to guard Delon Wright. This officially makes Wright a restricted free agent, and gives the Grizzlies the right to match any offer another team may make to Wright.
The Grizzlies acquired Wright, Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles, and a 2024 second rounder from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Marc Gasol at the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline. The trade proved to be a significant positive for both sides. While Valanciunas logically made the biggest immediate impact in Memphis, Wright proved that he should be apart of the Grizzlies future plans as well.
Due to injuries and other roster moves, Wright immediately stepped into a significant role with the Grizzlies. Wright played in 26 games, starting 11 of them, and averaged 30.8 minutes per game. His per-36 minute averages were 14.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals. He also registered a 16.6 PER rating over that stretch, the highest of his career.
Wright especially made his presence in the final six games of the season. In six starts, Wright averaged 17.5 points, 8.1 assists, and 9.1 rebounds on 47.9% shooting from the field. That stretch included three triple-doubles. Just as he proved his worth as a reserve guard that could effectively run the Grizzlies’ offense of the bench, he also proved more than capable to step in and start when needed.
Though the Grizzlies just drafted their point guard of the future in Ja Morant, Wright’s skill set as a combo guard who can produce off the bench or as a starter is quite valuable. Other teams will likely show interest in Wright for these exact reasons, but it is expected, as long as the price remains reasonable, that the Grizzlies will likely match those offers. As a result, the Grizzlies may have a good chance of securing Wright’s services on a multi-year contract at some point this summer.