The Portland Trail Blazers, after having and absolutely abysmal group of reserves in the 2012-13 NBA season, were adamant and steadfast this off-season in improving their bench. Adding guys like veteran Mo Williams, rookie C.J. McCollum and center Robin Lopez all were moves in the interest of helping sure up their bench.
One move that the Blazers made, though, that went less noticed than others was to acquire veteran forward Dorell Wright. Wright, who spent last season with the Philadelphia 76ers struggling to find a rhythm and a role, is showing early on in the 2013-14 NBA season, why he can be a valuable addition and piece of Portland’s bench unit.
Through four games, Wright is only playing 14.8 minutes per game off of the bench for the Trail Blazers, but he’s taken advantage of his limited opportunities. For the year in that limited role, he’s averaging 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists and one steal per game while shooting 42.9 percent and a fantastic 44.4 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Wright’s value comes in two different areas. For one, Wright is a solid defender, especially for a team’s second-unit. Though he has lapses at times, he has the ability to help create turnovers and give solid effort on that end of the floor. More than his defense, though, Wright’s three-point shooting helps the Blazers a great deal. As the Blazers had one of the worst scoring benches in the league last season, Wright’s ability to go off from long-range is a huge addition. He’s a career 36.8 percent shooter from three and has obviously surpassed that early this year.
If Wright can continue to provide in the manner that he has early on for Portland over the entirety of this season, it’s hard to see him not carving out a slightly larger role. Shooters deserve minutes and, at least through four games, Wright has been one of the best shooters out there for Portland.