“If everything goes well tomorrow, I should be able to go,” Wright said after Friday’s practice.
The 6-foot-10 Wright has been sidelined since suffering a nondisplaced fracture in his left shoulder on Oct. 8. He began practicing Dec. 6. Wright feels fine physically, albeit a bit rusty, and hopes to be back in the rotation for the three-game homestand that starts Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“It’s a little bit off, but you only can get that back by playing,” Wright said of his rhythm. “It’s a perfect opportunity – three games at home in eight days and a lot of practice time in between. I think this will be a good chance to really get going.”
Wright will be added to a big-man mix that has become a bit muddied recently with Samuel Dalembert’s demotion from the starting lineup. DeJuan Blair, a 6-foot-7 banger, has started at center the last five games.
The Mavs re-signed Wright, 26, to a two-year, $10 million deal over the summer after the highflier finished strong last season. A lottery pick in the 2007 draft, Wright rejuvenated his career while playing for a minimum salary the past two seasons in Dallas. In the final 23 games of last season, he averaged 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 24 minutes per game to help the Mavs go 15-8 down the stretch and finish .500.
“That’s the baseline,” Wright said of expectations for his production. “That’s the minimum standard. I think I can go well beyond that. I think I can really do some great things this year. Late start, but I’m ready to go.”