They say history is destined to repeat itself, and we’ve seen it happen many times.
Mavericks’ forward Moses Wright has lived through it. And he’s hoping for his own personal déjà vu moment starting with the Mavericks’ summer league action this week.
He’s just hoping it doesn’t take as long to duplicate his previous basketball success stories.
The Mavericks roster of 14 players looking to earn invites to fall training camp in September convened for the first time on Tuesday. They open summer play in Las Vegas on Friday against Chicago (3 p.m.). It will be the first of at least five games in the NBA Summer League 2022.
And for Wright, it’s the start of an important year in his professional life.
Wright is coming off a rookie season in which he played only three NBA games. That would be three more than he played for the varsity team in his first two years of high school.
But by the time he was a senior, he not only made the varsity team, he averaged 21.5 points and 13.5 rebounds and earned a scholarship out of Raleigh, N.C., to play at Georgia Tech.
Same story in college.
As a freshman at Georgia Tech, he averaged just 3.6 points and 3.4 rebounds on a 13-19 team.
By the time he was a senior, the Yellow Jackets went 17-9 and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 seasons. Wright averaged 17.4 points and 8 rebounds. He shot 53.2 percent from the field as a senior. He had shot 30.7 percent as a freshman. He increased not only his shooting percentage, but his scoring, rebounding, assists, 3-point percentage and minutes played in all four seasons at Georgia Tech.
So, does Wright see a similar growth curve in store as he tries to move up the admittedly more-rugged NBA ladder starting in his second season?
He’s hoping so, but with a twist.
“I’m hoping to get out of that, where it takes three or four years, because I don’t want to wait,” Wright said Tuesday after practice. “This is my second year, let’s chop it in half. The first year, I sat back, really learning. This year, I’m coming for what I got to come for.
“I got to speed up the clock at some point. I’ve seen the progression (in high school and college). I don’t want to wait. There’s an open roster spot here, so that’s what I’m fighting for.”
Wright, 6-8 and 225 pounds, may have played only three games in his rookie season, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t full of promise and success.
He averaged more than 19 points and nine rebounds in 29 G-League games, some with the Agua Caliente Clippers, some with the Texas Legends in Frisco.
Mavericks’ assistant coach Greg St. Jean, who is coaching the summer squad for the next 12 days, said it’s clear that Wright has NBA ability that the Mavericks hope to tap not only in Las Vegas but next season.
“Moses had a phenomenal year in the G-League,” St. Jean said. “First-team all G-League, so that’s pretty darn good in your first year. I think the biggest thing is getting use to the NBA speed and NBA size. He’s a versatile defender and obviously a versatile offensive player.”
Wright figures to be one of the Mavericks’ heavy lifters during summer league, along with second-round draftee Jaden Hardy and a pair of newcomers with modest NBA experience, Jalen Lecque and Miye Oni.
His strategy to get noticed in Las Vegas?
“I want to be the most dominant big (man) out there,” he said. “Whether it’s talking, rebounding, defensive presence, no matter what I do, just be dominant at what I do.”
Wright said that there were two keys that the coaching staff wanted to get through to the players as summer practices began: work hard and be unselfish.
They might also be keys to speeding up history perhaps repeating itself.
BRIEFLY: Josh Green is going into his third season but will not be part of the summer-league roster. He will, however, be in Las Vegas, where he is working out. “I wasn’t totally involved in Josh’s summer plan, but what I do know is Josh has been working very hard already this summer,” St. Jean said. “He was one of those guys who had a very big chip on his shoulder after our playoff run and has had a phenomenal summer so far. He’s going to be out in Las Vegas with us. Which is going to be great. We’re looking forward to seeing him, as well as a few of our other roster players. But his summer plan thus far has been pretty rigorous.” Green did not participate in Australian national team activities this summer . . . The Mavericks will practice Wednesday and Thursday at the Biosteel practice facility before heading to Las Vegas for Friday’s 3 p.m. match with the Bulls.