Julian Wright Draft Capsule
June 28, 2007
VITALS: 6-8, 225, Kansas
OVERVIEW: Was the main inside force on a Kansas team that won both the Big 12 Conference regular-season and tournament titles before losing to UCLA in the regional final of the NCAA Tournament. Averaged 12.0 points on 54.9 percent shooting and a team-best 7.8 rebounds in his sophomore season. Named to the All-Big 12 Conference first team. Tallied a career-high 33 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, including eight offensive, vs. Missouri. A member of the Big 12 All-Freshman team in 2006. Ranked eighth in the Big 12 with 1.27 blocks.
LIKELY DRAFT POSITION: 8-15.
COMPARATIVE UPSIDE: Lamar Odom
COMPARATIVE DOWNSIDE: Walter McCarty
POSITIVES: Wright has a small forward's feel for passing and dribbling the ball on the perimeter but has a big man's leaping ability and finishing flourish near the basket. Wright can't play point guard, but he is skilled and savvy enough to handle any other position on the floor. He has a decent shooting stroke, but the encouraging thing about him is that shooting might be his weakest point, and that is one area probably easiest to improve. His knowledge of the nuances of the game benefit him no matter where he is on the court.
SHORTCOMINGS: Wright is very light, weighing in at 211 pounds at the NBA Pre-Draft Camp. He doesn't have to be a muscle man to succeed in the NBA, but gaining an additional 15 pounds or so will help him to defend and not get bullied when he is making moves toward the basket. He's also a poor free-throw shooter, and coaches want their ball-handlers to be able to make free throws down the stretch of games. Wright has lots of room for improvement, but his athletic prowess makes rapid improvement plausible.