The Dallas Mavericks announced on Saturday that they have converted McKinley Wright IV from a training camp contract to a two-way deal.
Wright’s best opportunity to prove himself in the game came in the Mavs’ preseason opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Tulsa. Luka Doncic did not make the trip, opening up significant playing time for the other guards on the list.
Against the Thunder, Wright played 22 minutes and recorded eight points and 10 assists without a single turnover. He was instrumental in the 98-96 win. His production naturally caught the attention of Mavs coach Jason Kidd.
“He led the team well for us,” Kidd said. “Ten assists and no turnovers, that’s positive.”
Wright understood that playing for a team coached by Kidd, he needed to bring energy to the defense, especially when guarding the ball. Given that he’s only 5-foot-11, he has to make up for his height and picking up all the ground is part of the means he felt was necessary to do so.
I know J-Kidd likes guys who can guard,” Wright said. “Me, I like to pick up (and keep) 94 feet (from the basket).
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Wright also knew he had to bring a steady hand to lead the attack. He helped relieve Jaden Hardy, who scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as the reserves rallied to defeat the Thunder.
“I can handle the ball, play on the ball, off the ball, whatever it takes to help my team win,” Wright said. “I am a creator.”
Wright had the option of signing with the Charlotte Hornets or the Mavs for training camp. He and his representation felt that going to Dallas would present a favorable opportunity – proving to pay off.
“Me and my agent, we kind of waited a long time to sign anywhere,” Wright said after his preseason debut with the Mavs. “And then we looked at all the options, and it played out in Dallas and Charlotte, and I like the opportunity here.”
The Mavs will now be able to assess Wright for a longer period as he can split his time with the Texas Legends.
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