By Patrick Flynn
With the 20th selection in Thursday’s NBA draft, the Raptors selected point guard, Delon Wright. Wright played 2 seasons with the University of Utah, averaging 15 points a game and a 57 percent field goal percentage. He also averaged 35 minutes a game over those 2 years.
Delon Wright is known for his defence and will help the Raptors because they were dominant on offence but not so much defence last year. With Demar Derozan, Kyle Lowry, and Lou Williams in the backcourt last season, the Raptors shot the ball tons. Not every shot was a great shot and when those bad shots missed, they couldn’t get back on defence quick enough, resulting in 2 points for the opposing team. Whenever Wright hits the court he will give a big boost to the defence. When asked what makes his defence so good, Wright said, “Scouting Report. I look for weaknesses in the other teams offence. The coaches do their work and I do my work and we go from there.”
At 23, Wright is a lot older than the Raptors first round pick last year, Bruno Caboclo, who was only 18 when he was drafted. Because Wright is so much older than Caboclo, he will get immediate playing time and be a great backup point guard next season. Wright has an older brother in the NBA. This, no doubt, adds to his maturity level.
It’s not just the defence that makes Wright a great fit for the Raptors. He may not be known for scoring, but he has great vision on the court. This vision, helps him to draw his teammates into the offence plays by working the ball around. On Friday, Wright told Brady and Walker that his defence will get him the playing time and then, once on the court, he can show people how good his offence is too.
Drafting Wright wasn’t the only move the Raptors made at the draft. They also traded former backup point guard, Greivis Vasquez, to Milwaukee for their 2017 first round pick and 46th overall pick Norman Powell.
Trading Vasquez has some benefits. It helps the Raptors free up a lot of cap space. That cap space will give them much more flexibility to make important free agent acquisitions like a veteran big man to play along side Jonas Valanciunas. It would be nice if the big man they acquire can help Valanciunas on defence too. Finally, Vasquez is just like Lou Williams in that he takes a lot of shots. Often, those shots made it hard for the Raptors transition defence too get back in time after a missed shot. While trading Vasquez won’t eliminate this problem, it should reduce the incidents nonetheless.
Wright is a better option to backup Kyle Lowry at point guard than Vasquez. He also makes the Raptors defence a thousand times better.