The California kid is heading back east.
Bob Myers made his first big trade as general manager of the Warriors sending his former client, Dorell Wright, to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for what is likely to be Edin Bavčić – a 6’10 center out of Bosnia. Bavčić has been stashed away overseas since being drafted in the second round back in 2006. My computer almost exploded trying to put that first symbol above the “c.”
The move is purely a salary dump with Bavčić unlikely to ever play in a Warriors uniform.
Moving Wright was inevitable given his reasonable contract, the logjam at the wing position, and the fact that Mark Jackson never seemed to be a big fan of him (often opting to use other players late in games). A year removed from a breakout season in which he averaged a career best 16.4 points per game and broke the single season record for three-pointers made by a Warrior, Wright took a step back much to the chagrin of the Warriors faithful. Looking at the minutes he was given and the numbers he posted, he actually didn’t have that bad of a year and yet was still the target of a lot of Warriors fans’ anger and frustration. That’s not to say he didn’t have his struggles at all. Relying on his long-range ability and slow motion pump fake, teams quickly figured out how to defend Wright thus making him far less effective. Add in the fact that his mid-range game was almost non-existent and it’s easy to see why he had a down year.
Wright looked on his way to becoming a mainstay with the Dubs as he embraced the Bay Area and its fan base with open arms from the day he signed with Golden State. Despite being from Southern California and being a staunch USC, Dallas Cowboys and Dodgers supporter, he made his presence felt within the community. He represented as if he was a Bay Area native, as proven by his charitable efforts this past Thanksgiving when he partnered with the city of Oakland to make sure that several thousand less-fortunate families and individuals were fed and clothed.
On a personal level, my first ever interview with a professional athlete was with Wright last year in Las Vegas during the Impact Basketball “Lockout League.” I’ve encountered him many times since then and he is one of the most down-to-Earth athletes I have ever met. With the amount of money these guys get paid nowadays, it’s not unusual for some players to act as if they are a notch above everyone, but not D. Wright. He was definitely one of the most genuine guys on the team and I wish him the best playing for Doug Collins and the Sixers.
This trade strongly points in the direction of the Warriors bringing back Brandon Rush and gives them a bit more money to use in free agency to aid in their search for a backup point guard and possibly a backup power forward (they continue to entertain the possibility of signing J.J Hickson as well as former Warrior, Antawn Jamison). Golden State has yet to cash in their invite to the Offseason Transaction Party but perhaps this is the first move of many that will prove to the fans that they are as serious about winning as they claim to be.