Is the Future Wright?

Much to the dismay of Hornet fans, Julian Wright recently concluded yet another disappointing season. Not too long ago, Julian Wright was considered a key piece of the Bee’s future. Along the way though, something happened. It’s not too common for a player as young as Julian to come into the league and play so well, and even more rare for one to regress so drastically in the following years.

Just how much worse has Julian become? Let’s take a look at some numbers for his first three years.

Year Points per shot Points/40 Reb/40 Ast/40 Ast/TO


2007-2008 1.32 14.0 7.3 2.5 1.19 15.50
2008-2009 1.01 12.2 7.8 2.3 1.05 12.63
2009-2010 1.12 11.9 6.6 1.9 .95 11.77

Now some might say that these stats ignore a bunch of stuff, like his 50% shooting mark this year, or his defensive capabilities. I get that, but shooting percentage doesn’t matter too much if you never get to the line. What’s important to see here is that both his rebounding, passing, and scoring numbers have gone down the crapper since his relatively hot start a few years back.

As Ryan noted, we were recently granted access to Synergy Sports. “In return for testing it, we get access to a application that includes every play from every game this season, categorized by the type of play(post, pick and roll, cut, etc), the player using the possession, the result of the possession(turnover, miss, 3, etc) and the primary defender of the possession.”

Using that tool, I was able to take a look at Julian Wright’s offensive and defensive possessions throughout the past year. Here is what I found most noteworthy offensively.

  • Julian has a 15.9% turnover rate, very high for someone whose usage rate is so low.
  • Overall he averages .88 points per offensive possession, good for 297th in the league.
  • 19.9% of his offensive plays are when he spots up. His average of .64 points per possession ranks him 348th in the league from there.
  • 22% of his offensive plays are in transition (1.22 ppp) and 14.5% are off of offensive rebounds (1.09), ranking 99th and 100th. These are the only categories in which he is in the top 200.

And defensively:

  • Julian was most effective when his opposition tried to post him up or get him in isolation. He ranked 48th and 68th respectively in those situations.
  • For as athletic and quick as Julian is, his mark only turned the ball over on 5.9 percent of possessions.
  • For the year Wright held his opposition to 38.9% shooting.

Offensively, he’s inadequate. Defensively, it appears that he’s still doing some stuff right while obviously having room to improve.

His contract was picked up for next year, and he’s due to make approximately 2.85 million dollars. After that he will become a restricted free agent and can choose to sign with another team, which the hornets would have the right to match. The team can also offer a one year qualifying offer which would leave Julian as an unrestricted free agent at it’s conclusion.

What do you think is the best course of action with Julian? Is it time to cut the cord or should they Hornets give him another year to prove himself?

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