2010 NBA: Dorell Wright Continues to Be Warriors' Steal of the Offseason

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 29, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Dorell Wright #1 of the Golden State Warriors grabs a rebound over Luis Scola #4 of the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena on December 20, 2010 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In an offseason wrought with lavish presentations and hundreds of millions dollars in the air, the Golden State Warriors made one of the smartest moves in the NBA when they took Dorell Wright's talents from South Beach, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh devoured the majority of the cap space that the Heat had made so many moves to get.

Wright left the place where he had spent the first seven years of his professional career—following a stellar high school campaign split between Leuzinger (CA) High School and South Kent Prep (CT)—to seek a chance at more minutes in a free-flowing offense.

His days of watching Wade destroy the competition while admiring a championship ring that would make the Flint Tropics' Ed Monix proud had come to a close, and the Warriors even got to keep their washing machine.

In fact, with a modest three-year, $11 million deal between Wright and his new club, the Warriors kept enough cap space to bolster their second unit with other valuable signings, like swingman Rodney Carney and power forward Lou Amundson.

For Wright, the chance to move out from close friend and mentor Wade's shadows meant not only a chance to bolster his stock portfolio—after securing the Big Three, the Heat had just the veteran's minimum left to offer—but also to expand his game in an offense that encouraged ball movement and long-distance shooting.

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For the Warriors, the move gave them their most talented—offensively and defensively—true small forward since the team sent Stephen Jackson packing early last season.

Essentially, the Warriors rid themselves of a disgruntled now-32-year-old with three years and $28 million still owed to him, and replaced him with a 25-year-old sharpshooter with a similar—perhaps more efficient—style of play.

Wright, already the new franchise record holder for most three-pointers in a game with nine, has enjoyed career highs in points (15.1), assists (3.2), rebounds (six), offensive rebounds (1.3), steals (1.4) and three-point percentage (40.9).

But unlike Captain Jack—an appropriate nickname with his nearly-17 field goal attempts a game in 2008-09 for the Warriors—Wright lets the offense come to him, rather than through him. This has allowed coach Keith Smart to keep the ball in the hands of his playmakers, the healthier Stephen Curry and the should-be All-Star Monta Ellis, allowing a smoother style of game than the previous Warriors offense that relied on the occasional fast break and plenty of isolation plays.

Wright's contribution on the defensive end is perhaps even more important for this Warriors club, as his perimeter defensive skills help control opposing perimeter players that would otherwise face the vertically-challenged Curry, Ellis or sixth man Reggie Williams.

So while the NBA turns its collective heads to the Southeast to see how long the Heat can run their winning streak, forgive Warriors fans if they're more concerned with what their own team is capable of.

After all, much like Miami's team, theirs is a club that is just starting to get fully healthy.

And they could bring their own winning streak—currently at three games—into the New Year's Day game when Wright and Co. take their talents to South Beach.


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