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Friday, November 26, 2010
Another available young big man

By Marc Stein

Recent Weekend Dimes have listed Sacramento's Jason Thompson and Chicago's James Johnson as young power forwards who've been made available via trade by the teams that made them recent first-round picks.

Another name to add to that group, according to NBA front-office sources, is Golden State's Brandan Wright, who simply hasn't been able to produce (or stay healthy) consistently for the Warriors despite his intriguing length and athleticism.

The Warriors selected the slender 6-10 power forward with the eighth overall pick in 2007 and have an undeniable need at the moment for dependable players off the bench. Frontcourt, backcourt, you name it.

But Wright only made it onto the floor for 77 games in his first three seasons thanks largely to a run of shoulder injuries and hasn't been able to catch up. Not even with David Lee (elbow), Louis Amundson (finger) and prized rookie Ekpe Udoh (wrist) all dealing with their own health woes.

It's likewise no secret that Amundson and Udoh are locks, albeit not quite at Lee 's level, to receive rotation priority from coach Keith Smart over Wright when everyone's healthy.

Suspect as a rebounder because of his build and still trying to develop more variety offensively to complement his undeniable shot-blocking ability, Wright will be a restricted free agent at season's end if he’s not moved by the Warriors first. There aren't any strong signals that anything’s imminent, but this much we know: The 23-year-old belongs with Dan Gadzuric and Vladimir Radmanovic on list of Golden State "gettables."