SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah guard Delon Wright is reportedly on the move again.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that the Dallas Mavericks will acquire Wright, a restricted free agent, in a sign-and-trade agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies on a new three-year, $29 million contract. In return, the Grizzlies will receive a pair of future second-round picks.
"Wright is 6-foot-5, elite size for a point guard, and he can defend multiple positions," Wojnarowski wrote.
Wright is coming off his best statistical season of his four-year NBA career after being traded from the Toronto Raptors, who took him with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, to Memphis in February.
While serving as a role player coming off the bench in Toronto for three and a half seasons, he was thrust into a starting role in 11 of the 26 games he played with the Grizzlies. That led to career highs in points (12.2 per game), rebounds (5.4), assists (5.3) and steals (1.6) with Memphis.
Wright finished the 2018-19 season by posting triple-doubles in three of the Grizzlies' final four games. That included two triple-doubles against Dallas in back-to-back games. The first came on April 5, when Wright scored a career-high 26 points and added 14 assists and 10 rebounds in a 122-112 victory over the Mavericks.
The Dallas Morning News tabbed Wright as a roster upgrade that moves the Mavericks’ offseason moves into the “respectable” category. In addition to Wright, Dallas is adding shooting guard Seth Curry and center Boban Marjanovic.
“Wright, 27, could well start this upcoming season, sharing a modest portion of Luka Doncic's ballhandling responsibilities and, thankfully for Dallas, most of the tougher backcourt defensive assignments,” the News' Brad Townsend wrote.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the Mavericks a B+ grade for the trade, while assigning the Grizzlies a C-.
Pelton sees Wright becoming another playmaker on offense alongside Mavs players like Jalen Brunson, J.J. Barea and Doncic, while also using his length to provide versatility on defense.
"Granting that Wright is a below-average 3-point shooter (33% career), he's enough of a threat that teams have to pay him some attention. Wright can supply secondary playmaking in an off-ball role and prevents Doncic from needing to bring the ball up and initiate the offense when they play together," Pelton wrote.
"At the other end, Wright's size (6-foot-5) enables him to defend either guard position depending on matchups. He's also an excellent rebounder for a guard, having recorded three triple-doubles in the last four games of 2018-19."8 comments on this story
The Athletic's Tim Cato sees Wright fitting in as the starting point guard in Dallas, backed up by Brunson and Barea. He also pointed to Wright's third season in Toronto as the best way for the Mavericks to utilize him alongside Doncic. That year, he provided valuable contributions — 8.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists — while coming off the bench.
"He usually shared the backcourt with Fred VanVleet and sometimes Kyle Lowry and is better when deployed that way, rather than the higher-usage role in Memphis. In Dallas, he can be expected to help Luka Doncic shoulder the playmaking load after Doncic led the league in touches after the All-Star break, which was simply too much," Cato wrote.