Celtics send Wright to Phoenix for draft pick

Brandan Wright_114596

Boston Celtics center Brandan Wright (12) goes up for a dunk against the Chicago Bulls during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns made a move to add front-line depth Friday by acquiring Brandan Wright from the Boston Celtics for a protected first-round draft pick.

The 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward averaged 7.5 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 35 games this season for Dallas and Boston.

The former first-round draft pick is in his seventh NBA season. Wright came to Boston in the Dec. 18 trade that sent guard Rajon Rondo to the Mavericks.

The draft pick, originally Minnesota’s, is top-12 protected in 2015 and 2016. If the pick is not used by 2016, then the Timberwolves would instead give up their second-round picks in 2016 and 2017.

The Suns also waived forward Tony Mitchell, acquired in a trade with Detroit on Dec. 24.

Wright was an attractive acquisition partly because he has a $6 million contract that expires after this season.

Phoenix has a guard-heavy lineup that can use some inside strength.

In a statement announcing the trade, Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said Wright’s “length, athleticism and finishing ability make him a great fit for our style of play.”

“He is one of the most efficient scorers in the league,” McDonough said, “and his shot-blocking ability will help anchor our defense.”

Wright is shooting 72.5 percent from the field this season. Last season with Dallas, he averaged career-highs of 9.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 58 games. His shooting percentage last season of 67.7 percent, also a career high, was the best in the NBA for players with at least 100 field goal attempts.

“The way Dallas played last year is somewhat similar to what we play — being in the open court and pick and rolls,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Brandan does a great job of rolling to the basket and catching the ball and either dunking it or he’s got a little jumper, so he can shoot it.”

Hornacek said time will tell how much playing time there will be for Wright.

“Obviously our starters are the same,” the coach said. “The bench might be adjusted a little bit, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Wright is averaging 3.82 blocks per 48 minutes this season. Suns center Alex Len is averaging 3.77. The pair rank among the top five in that category in the NBA.

This is the fifth team for Wright, who was the eighth overall pick out of North Carolina in 2007. He played for Golden State and New Jersey before going to Dallas.

Eighth in the Western Conference, the Suns dropped to 22-17 on Friday night with a 100-95 loss at San Antonio. They have won nine of their last 12.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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