Free agent Brandan Wright: 'Dallas is clear-cut leader'

Free agent center/power forward Brandan Wright said he is likely to re-sign with the Mavericks.

“Dallas is the clear-cut leader,” Wright told ESPNDallas.com via text message Wednesday.

Wright said he and his agent Jim Tanner are in discussions with the Mavericks and anticipate a deal to get done “sooner or later.” The Mavs own Wright’s Early Bird rights, meaning that they can exceed the salary cap to re-sign him to a multiyear contract that pays him up to 104.5 percent of the average NBA player salary of more than $5 million. As a result, it makes sense for the Mavs to sign a starting center before finalizing a deal with Wright.

Wright, 25, the eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, spent the last two seasons with the Mavs as a minimum-salary reclamation project. He had the league’s 20th-best player efficiency rating (21.03) in a limited role last season. After falling out of rotation for a stretch in the middle of the season, Wright finished on a high note, averaging 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 24 minutes per game to help the Mavs got 15-8 down the stretch.

The Mavs envision Wright as a high-flying spark off the bench. They are targeting Andrew Bynum in free agency to be their starting center.

The Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks are among the other teams who have expressed interest in Wright this summer.