Brandan Wright is perhaps my least favorite top prospect. I feel like he could be an even bigger gamble than Yi at this point.
On the other hand, I could be wrong. Wright spent many months tagged as the 3rd best prospect on many mock drafts and lists of top prospects. On a few occasions I've compared this draft to the one in 2004 and each time I say that Wright could be the Bosh of this draft.
So what's my problem? Lets see what it says in his Rookiepedia profile:
Athletic and coordinated big man with good footwork and good hands... Establishes position under the basket... Recognizes double teams and passes out of the post well... Great shooting touch from the post and can face up as well... Very good help defender and rebounder... Runs the floor well...
Needs to add size and strength... Inconsistent free throw shooter... Limited range... Needs to refine post moves... Sometimes his effort and intensity are questioned...
The positives sound great. I'm always a big fan of true post players, especially ones that can rebound. And the negatives aren't that hard to overcome. He can add strength in the pros. He can work on his shooting (or stay in the paint). Clifford Ray can work on his post moves with him. But there at the end is a waving red flag.
Don't waste my time with prospects that don't work hard. I can't stand lazy athletes. When running and jumping is your job description, do it right. Go all out. Granted, there were questions about LaMarcus Aldridge's effort last year, and he seems to be coming along fine, but every case is different. I've heard about Wright coasting through workouts. Here is a report on Draft Express:
Next to him, Brandan Wright did not do much to quell most of the fears about him, even if there was only so much you could take away from this setting. He doesn’t appear to have added any weight to his frame since the season ended, and his jump-shot and ball-handling skills were virtually non-existent as we’ve been mentioning all season long. The fact that he was working out in the 3rd gear didn’t really help him out. On the positive side, he did look pretty effortless getting off his feet and ran the floor extremely well. In the post, he also showed great fundamentals, with a beautiful hook-shot and great touch spinning to either shoulder. His arms are freakishly long.
How can this be? If he's interviewing for a job, why would he not give it his all at that point? That says a lot to me. And it isn't like this is a new thing either. Many times this season he was invisible or passive or at least inconsistent, even in the biggest games.
I guess if you could build a player from spare parts, you'd take Brandan's skill, put it in Horford's body, and add Noah's heart. That guy would make it a 3 horse race for the top pick. Instead we have an imperfect bunch to chose from. In this case, I'm not excited about Brandan Wright's imperfections. I could be wrong.
There doesn't seem to be a lot of positive buzz around the league about Brandan Wright. He could go as high as 3 or he could be a slider on draft night. Maybe as low as the 7 or 8th pick. I would still take him over Noah and others being considered at the 5, but I think there will be a better prospect available.
More: JB gives us his daily update on Yi and it looks like Yi has worked out for both the Hawks and Celtics already.