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Wright deal opens playing time for Barnes
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On July 12, 2012 @ 12:00 am In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
Golden State Warriors management insisted on draft night it was thrilled to see North Carolina standout Harrison Barnes fall into the team’s lap.
The club’s actions then spoke louder than its words when the NBA reopened for business July 11.
Dorell Wright, who started all but five of the Warriors’ 148 games the past two seasons, was dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers in little more than a salary dump, creating an immediate opening at small forward for Barnes.
Not coincidentally, Wright’s departure also impacted the small forward position in another way, giving the Warriors additional breathing room under the NBA’s luxury-tax threshold with which to pursue their own restricted free agent, Brandon Rush.
The Warriors entered the free agent signing period about $4 million under the luxury-tax line, meaning they couldn’t even offer the full $5 mid-level exception to anyone, including Rush. But by slashing Wright’s $4.1 million salary from the equation, the door opened for the Warriors to sweeten their offer to Rush.
In exchange for Wright, the Warriors received the rights to Edin Bavcic, a native of Bosnia who has been playing overseas. Golden State also got a $4.1 million “trade exception,” which will remain good for a full year.
The Warriors immediately turned around and dealt Bavcic’s rights to the New Orleans Hornets for Jarrett Jack. A 28-year-old point guard, Jack averaged 15.6 points and 6.3 assists with the Hornets last season.
Wright’s main contribution to the Warriors in two seasons was as a 3-point shooter, hitting 37.6 percent in 2010-11 and 36.0 percent last season. His playing time dipped from 38.4 minutes per game in 2010-11 to 27.0 in 2011-12, mostly as a result of Rush having been added to the team last year.
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