They share a common name and a top-5 spot on the D-League Prospect Watch. But Chris Wright (Maine Red Claws) and Chris Wright (Iowa Energy) deserve individual recognition for what they have done this season in the D-League in the hopes of earning a call up to the NBA. Both take the floor in separate matchups tonight at the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nevada.
Wright of Maine played his college ball at Dayton, where the 6’8″ forward established himself as a high-flying star for the Flyers. After graduating and going undrafted in 2011, Wright signed with the Maine Red Claws during the NBA lockout. When the lockout ended, Wright joined the Golden State Warriors. He made the roster, appeared in 24 games, and spent three stints on assignment with the Dakota Wizards. This offseason Wright signed with the Toronto Raptors but failed to make the final roster, which led to his return to the D-League with the Red Claws.
Wright of Iowa played his college ball at Georgetown where, despite injuries that cost him more than 20 games in his collegiate career, he finished his Hoya career ranked sixth in assists in school history. After going undrafted in 2011, Wright played in Turkey before returning stateside in 2012. He failed to make the New Orleans Hornets roster but was scooped up as an affiliate player by the Energy.
Wright of Maine’s biggest asset is his athleticism. He stuffed the stat sheet in a Dec. 21 win over Fort Wayne with 22 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks, but it’s what he does that doesn’t show up in a box score that will likely be his best chance of getting back to the NBA. He isn’t going to be asked to be a volume scorer in the NBA, but if he can provide energy, hustle, defense, and rebounding on a nightly basis, there may be a spot for him. He’ll have a great chance to showcase his talents tonight when the Red Claws tangle with a tough Tulsa 66ers team that includes Thunder assignment players Perry Jones, Daniel Orton, and Jeremy Lamb. That game takes place tonight at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.
Wright of Iowa is a true point guard. With the NBA as point guard strong as it is today, it won’t be easy for Wright to break through and earn a call up. However, if he can maintain his assist/turnover ratio, 3/1, which currently ranks him in the top five of D-League guards, Wright will have to be considered at least as an insurance option for teams in need of injury support at the point guard position as the season progresses. He’s currently averaging 15.9 points (on 43.6 percent shooting, 36.8 percent from 3) and 7.5 assists per game. His Energy squad squares off against the L.A. D-Fenders tonight in the nightcap at 10 p.m. Eastern.
Both Wrights will look to make a name for themselves tonight as they continue in their pursuit of an NBA call up.