Nine fresh faces arrived in Dallas this past summer to help soothe the heartache of Mavericks fans from the failed pursuit of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, not to mention the departure of championship heroes Jason Terry and Jason Kidd—just one year after the devastating loss of Tyson Chandler.
Darren Collison has more than alleviated the point guard pain early on. He's looked terrific so far after the Mavs ransacked the Pacers in a trade we will be talking about for years. Collison orchestrated the Mavs’ season-opening upset against the Lakers on Tuesday, and looked even better in the first half at Utah last night before running out of gas with the rest of the team in what turned out to be a blowout loss.
Brandan Wright doesn’t know what “running out of gas” means. The energizer jumping jack was already in Dallas last season and displayed bursts of potential with a skinny 6’10" frame. This season, Wright has not only filled out his body—he is filling up the stat sheets as the Mavs' starting center.
An outrageous 92.3 field-goal percentage through two games is what Wright has delivered on 12-of-13 shooting.
Additionally, Wright is scoring 14.5 points per game—more than doubling his output from his first year in Dallas.
Last season, Wright was already blocking and altering shots like Kurt Nimphius back in the 1980’s (that’s when at least some Mavs fans were known as Nimpho-maniacs!). This season, Wright has added a series of inside moves on offense to complement his dunking skills, making him a legitimate two-way threat and not just some freak show.
Which Maverick has the most upside potential?
When newly acquired Chris Kaman gets healthy, don’t be surprised if Wright gets some starts at power forward until Dirk comes back. The Mavs will suddenly become very deep at the 4 and 5 positions with Elton Brand also in the mix. But Wright may have the biggest upside of any player on the Mavs' roster and Rick Carlisle will force-feed him minutes to nurture his enormous potential.
Brandan’s potential was evident at a young age when he became the first high school player to win three straight “Mr. Basketball” titles in Tennessee along with four state championships. Wright was named ACC Rookie of the Year in his one season at North Carolina before declaring for the NBA draft in 2007.
The eighth overall pick failed to make his mark in Golden State and New Jersey, and signed with Dallas just before the start of last season.
Wright won’t make Mavs fans forget Tyson Chandler, but the 25-year-old could become the devastating big man that propels the Mavs into a new era.