Marion’s move to Dallas didn’t come without a catch: Antoine Wright is now a Toronto Raptor.
Jerry Stackhouse was longer tenured and surely the most celebrated outgoing Mav, but Stack’s journey out of the organization’s favor left a bad taste in my mouth. I appreciated Stack a bit in all of his tunnel-visioned glory during the Finals run, but his departure has been a long time coming. Devean George’s slim contributions on the court will no doubt stand eclipsed by that time he single-handedly vetoed the initial Jason Kidd-Devin Harris deal. Man, that was a real knee-slapper, right guys?
Antoine Wright was never the most talented guy in a Maverick uniform, but he was endearing. He worked defensively and didn’t dominate the ball offensively, and though he still has plenty of room to improve, he seemed to make significant headway over the course of the 2008-2009 season. His shot was coming along, his drives to the basket were more assertive, and the defense was still his calling card. It takes time for skilled defenders to find their place in this league, especially when they’re transitioning from offensive-minded athletic types. It took Bruce Bowen, one of the toughest perimeter defenders of this generation, seven seasons in the league before he really hit his stride with the Spurs. The upcoming season will be Wright’s fourth. I’m as guilty as anyone of treating Wright like a veteran when it came time to dissect his weaknesses, when instead I should’ve been considering his potential and his strengths.
Antoine Wright had far from a flawless season for the Mavs, but his efforts in Dallas are in dire need of some appreciation. Wright has the capability to be a very solid player in the near future, and though that future likely won’t be in Dallas, I wish him all the best.