Detroit Pistons: Delon Wright unknown but important

Aug 25, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Delon Wright (55) shoots against LA Clippers forward JaMychal Green (4)Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 25, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Delon Wright (55) shoots against LA Clippers forward JaMychal Green (4)Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Delon Wright is not one of the bigger names brought in by Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver, but he will play a key role in the team’s success.

Detroit Pistons fans might not have been aware that Delon Wright was even in the NBA until a few weeks ago. But, since being acquired as part of a trade with the Dallas Mavericks, it is becoming apparent he will be a key part of the Pistons lineup.

At 6-foot-5, in his five-year NBA career, Wright has mostly played the point guard position. However, he thinks he is just as comfortable being a shooting guard.

Pistons coach Dwane Casey has said, for now, that rookie Killian Hayes is the leading candidate to start at point guard. Of course,  veteran Derrick Rose also likes the ball in his hand, and good things usually happen when he does.

If Wright has the ability to adjust to shooting guard, it would be a major plus for Detroit.

"“I don’t need the ball to be effective,” Wright said at a press conference, according to “I can offensive rebound. I cut well, hit spot-up shots. I do work well with another point guard that also plays similar to me, likes to share the ball. It really works well for me.“I know Derrick. Hayes, I’ve seen highlights. Once we get to training camp and preseason, I’ll be able to get a better feel for how to play with him. They brought me here to play with him and with Derrick. I know I can make it work. I’m looking forward to growing with these guys and growing with the rest of the team.”"

Although Wright played for Dallas last season, he will have no problem picking up the Pistons offense. He was selected in the first round (20th overall) of the 2015 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors.

The coach of Toronto, at the time, was Casey. Wright played three seasons for him.

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Wright missed out on the Raptors championship run as, in February, 2019, he got dealt to Memphis as part of the Marc Gasol trade. He was immediately made a starter for the Grizzlies, and averaged a career-high 12.6 points the rest of the season. Memphis traded him to Dallas that summer.

Despite playing on several different teams the past few seasons, Wright says he was always hoping to be reunited with Casey, as he told

"“Honestly, I was excited because we were working on trying to get there for two to three years,” said Wright. “Before I was traded to the Grizzlies, it was 50-50 on coming here to Detroit. I was happy I was able to finally get there. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to grow with the organization. I couldn’t ask for a better situation right now.”"

Looking at the other guards on the roster, the opportunity for Wright to see a lot of playing time, if not become a starter again, is certainly there.

Hayes and Rose are locks to be in the guard rotation. One would assume the Pistons did not bring back 32-year-old shooter Wayne Ellington to sit on the bench. Svi Myhailuk is 6-8 but can play some two-guard, and veteran guard Rodney McGruder was a deep reserve for the Clippers last season.

Casey last year preferred to bring Rose off the bench. It kept him fresh for crunch time and, with his injury history, allowed Casey to somewhat limit his minutes during a long season.

If Casey starts Hayes at point guard, Wright has the size defensively to be a two-guard. He is not known for being a great outside shooter but last year  Wright shot 37% on three-pointers. If he can keep making threes at that rate, he certainly can see quality time at shooting guard.

Wright could be paired with Hayes in the starting backcourt. That would give the young Frenchman a veteran lean on who knows Casey’s system inside and out.

If Rose starts with Hayes, Wright would give Casey optionality, as he could sub for either Hayes or Rose.

When Wright and Rose are in the game together, it gives Detroit speed and a lot of ballhandling. The pair would be an aggressive backcourt; great on the fast break and very dangerous in the pick-and-roll, particularly with all the big men the Pistons have to set screens.

The opportunity to make his mark is certainly there for Wright. it is just a matter of him taking advantage.

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Most Pistons fans are already familiar with Hayes, Rose and Ellington. But they should get to know Delon Wright quite well, in the coming months.