DALLAS — Friday night, the faithful fans at American Airlines Center will get their first look at the 2013-14 Dallas Mavericks as the organization puts on its annual Mavstoberfest event, which will also feature an intrasquad scrimmage with a 20-minute running clock.
Expected to go through drills but not participating in the team’s scrimmage will be projected starting point guard Jose Calderon, who is battling a nagging tight hamstring. However, Mavs fans will get their first look at a bulkier Brandan Wright as the big man gets set for his third season with the team after re-signing as a free agent this offseason.
The 6-foot-10 Wright came on at the end of last season, earning Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle’s trust while finishing the year averaging a career-high 8.5 points and 4.1 rebounds during his 18.0 minutes of work in 64 appearances. He will now try to ascend to even higher heights while expecting to play a larger role for the Mavericks this season.
“I’ve just got to continue to play at a high level, be consistent, be fundamentally sound and just don’t let the team down,” Wright said when detailing what he hopes to offer the Mavs this season. “You know, whenever I’m out there, always be a positive.”
Weighing in at 210 pounds when he entered the league as the eighth overall selection by Charlotte in the 2007 NBA Draft, Wright says he came into training camp at a heftier 240. The former North Carolina standout now hopes his promising skills and athletic ability help him to see more time on Dallas’ front line, looking to challenge Samuel Dalembert for minutes at the center position while backing up 11-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki.
“I always said I’m a two-position player. It just happened to be where my first year and last year it was solely at the 5 position, but I think I’m versatile enough to step over and play the 4. Whatever [Carlisle] needs me to do, especially defensively. It’s going to be a lot of things going on with me this year,” Wright said.
“He’s worked hard on his strength,” Carlisle added of Wright’s more chiseled frame. “I mean, he’s got 10-12 pounds of extra muscle, so that’s a very positive step I think for him. And then we’ve just got to see where he exactly fits into our system. He’s going to be playing. He’s one of the best players we have. … Based on our personnel, there will be times when he’s the 4 man. But he’s one of those guys, he’s a basketball player. His position is ‘on the floor.’”
Note: FOX Sports Southwest, the television home of the Dallas Mavericks, will introduce the new players on the team’s 2013-2014 roster in a three-part series.
One-On-One With the Dallas Mavericks features three episodes profiling three different players on each show beginning Friday, Oct. 4 at 6:00 p.m. CT.
The players highlighted include newcomers Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Gal Mekel, Monta Ellis, Ricky Ledo, Devin Harris, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair and Wayne Ellington.
FOX Sports Southwest Mavericks play-by-play announcer Mark Followill and Mavericks radio play-by-play voice Chuck Cooperstein host the series.
The shows will give fans an opportunity to get to know the players as the team embarks on the season. Each episode will provide in-depth looks at the featured players from their childhoods to how they became Dallas Mavericks.