One free agent that spent only one year playing college basketball before entering the NBA in 2007 is Brandan Wright, formerly of the New Jersey Nets.
Wright, who is 6'10" tall, still has to add weight to his frame so he can grow into both the small and power forward positions. After spending one year playing basketball at the University of North Carolina, Wright was selected in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats before being traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jason Richardson and the draft rights to Jermareo Davidson during draft night.
However, some players who enter the NBA early struggle in adjusting to the NBA style of doing things. Wright dealt with injuries that caused him to miss games and halted his growth as a potential NBA player. Wright missed the summer league during his rookie season due to a hip flexor injury that caused him to have a slower start to his NBA career.
With Golden State, Wright averaged a career-high 8.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game during the 2008-09 NBA season even though he only appeared in 39 games. Wright missed the entire 2009-10 NBA season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery. The team decided to bring back Wright for one more season and evaluate him on his comeback from a major injury.
After the shoulder injury, Wright appeared in only 21 games the following NBA season and was basically a non-factor with Golden State. He was eventually traded (close to the trade deadline) to the New Jersey Nets along with Dan Gadzuric in exchange for Troy Murphy and a 2012 second-round draft pick. The Warriors eventually bought out Murphy’s contract and released him making him an unrestricted free agent.
In New Jersey, Wright appeared in only 16 games (including one start) and averaged 3.6 points to go along with 3.0 rebounds per game. For his NBA career, Wright averaged 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Currently an unrestricted free agent, Wright has not fulfilled expectations to this point, but maybe he can find his role in the NBA by playing more games and staying healthy in order to continue to pick up some much-needed NBA experience. Wright still has some work to do and has to find a team that is willing to give him a chance to show what he has got.
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