Delon Wright is finally healthy after injuring his shoulder in the summer. Wright was drafted 20th in the 2015 NBA draft. This season he was reunited with former college teammate Jakob Poeltl. Being the 20th pick, the expectations for Delon Wright probably aren’t super high. However, Kyle Lowry was the 24th pick in the 2006 draft. So you never know.
Delon Wright was healthy enough to be active against the Hornets. The game was a blowout, so I couldn’t think of a better situation for Wright to get some minutes. Casey chose not to use him for whatever reason.
Why was Wright inactive in the next game against the Suns? Bebe returned from injury, but Delon could have easily taken Bruno Caboclo’s spot. Bruno has only gotten garbage time minutes this season anyways.
The Raptors need to figure out what they have in Delon Wright. That doesn’t mean they need to play him 15 or 20 minutes a night, but five minutes a night is reasonable. Coming into the NBA last year, Delon strengths were supposed to be playmaking and defending. His weakness was expected to be shooting. However, Delon shot 45% from the field and 38.5% from three last year. It was a very limited sample, but never the less that’s pretty good for a rookie point guard. He has yet to show he is a good passer or defender in the NBA, but shouldn’t the Raptors give him a few minutes here and there to find that out?
Kyle Lowry is expected to opt-out and become a free agent this summer. You would think the Raptors would want to re-sign him, but at $200M over five years it would be a bit of gamble. We have seen Lowry’s body break down now in two consecutive seasons. What is going to happen to his body when he’s 35? If the Raptors knew they had a good point guard in Delon Wright, it might give them some leverage and get Lowry to come off that full 5-year max. Alternatively, if Wright got minutes now and looked good, it could boost his perceived value and give the Raptors options at the trade deadline.
Cory Joseph has been hit and miss game to game this season. It would be hard to imagine taking five minutes from him and giving them to Delon Wright would put the Raptors at a major disadvantage. Cory Joseph is probably approaching the ceiling of the player he will be for the rest of his NBA career. He’s a decent backup guard, but will probably never be a starter on an elite team. We have no idea what Delon Wright’s ceiling is at this point because he only played 229 minutes last season.
There’s really no downside to playing Wright. If cannot hold his own, Casey can stop playing him. If Wright plays well the Raptors will know what they have in him. This will give them the option of either further developing him or moving him to fill a need in this Raptors roster.