The Mavs would like to keep Wright, a young, athletic center/forward who took advantage of his return to the rotation in the final month and a half, averaging 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks as a 24-minute-per-night part-time starter in the final 23 games. Wright was a major reason why the Mavs went 15-8 during that stretch and probably earned millions in the process.
“The truth is Brandan is a very unique player. He fits in with us. He fits in with our personnel,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “There’s some teams that he really plays great against. That’s been consistent for both years. There’s other teams where it’s tougher for him because of the physical strength, some of the bruising type teams. But we like him. He has continued to get better.
“We met with him (the day after the season ended) and told him that we definitely wanted him back here. These decisions are going to come down to the money and the market and so on and so forth, but he’s a guy that we like.”
It could be more complicated than just the money. Timing of negotiations with Wright could be tricky, too.
Wright feels a sense of loyalty to the franchise that picked him up off the scrap heap after the lockout, but he’s facing the first major business decision of his career. He understands, however, that he won’t be the Mavs’ top priority this summer.
What if Wright gets an offer he likes while the Mavs are pursuing Dwight Howard or Chris Paul or whoever their Plan C, D, E, etc. might be? Wright might not have the luxury of waiting to see whether the Mavs would be able or willing to match.
There is strong mutual interest in Wright returning to the Mavs. Now, it’s a matter of whether the business of basketball gets in the way.
2012-13 stats: Averaged 8.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 59.7 percent from the floor in 18.0 minutes per game. His player efficiency rating (PER) of 21.03 ranked 20th in the league.
Brandon Bass – Averaged 8.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks while shooting 48.6 percent from the floor in 27.6 minutes per game. Signed three-year, $19.4 million deal in 2012.
JaVale McGee – Averaged 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while shooting 57.5 percent in 18.1 minutes per game. Signed four-year, $44 million deal in 2012.
Ed Davis – Averaged 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks while shooting 53.9 percent in 20.1 minutes per game. Has one season remaining on rookie contract.
Amir Johnson – Averaged 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 55.4 percent from the floor in 28.7 minutes per game. Signed five-year, $30 million deal in 2010.
Estimated contract: Bass got $18 million over four years after his two-season stint with the Mavs. Ian Mahinmi, another two-year Mavs project, got $16 million over four years. The bidding for Wright figures to start in that range.