‘I couldn’t ask for a better situation’ – Delon Wright thrilled to rejoin Casey in Detroit

When Delon Wright heard his name in trade talks during what would become Toronto’s 2018-19 championship season – before the Raptors ultimately traded him to Memphis in the Marc Gasol deal – his heart was really tugging him to Detroit and a reunion with Dwane Casey.

So you can guess his reaction when Wright learned he’d been traded to the Pistons last month.

“Honestly, I was excited because we were working on trying to get there for two to three years,” he said. “Before I was traded to the Grizzlies, it was 50-50 on coming here to Detroit. I was happy I was able to finally get there. I think it’s a great opportunity for me to grow with the organization. I couldn’t ask for a better situation right now.”

Wright looks like an ideal fit for the Pistons all the way around – for his ability to play either backcourt spot, for the way he figures to mesh with Derrick Rose, for the pressure he can relieve on rookie Killian Hayes with his ability to handle both running an offense and taking on challenging defensive assignments.

And his familiarity with Casey – as part of a roster with only four holdover players and amid a season shrouded in pandemic uncertainty – can only help speed the acclimation timetable of his new teammates.

“He’s a well-prepared coach and he really knows what he’s talking about,” Wright said he’s told teammates who haven’t played for Casey yet. “He’s been on a championship team. He’s been around for a while. He really knows the game and just to trust his game plan.”

Wright spent the first 3½ seasons of his five-year career in Toronto before the deal to Memphis, finishing 2018-19 there ahead of signing a three-year contract with Dallas as a free agent in July 2019. He emerged as a key player on Casey’s potent bench in his second season, 2016-17, and averaged 21 minutes a game for Toronto in his third season, frequently playing in three-guard lineups with both Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet.

His biggest role came with Memphis when Wright averaged 31 minutes over his 26 games to end that season, putting up 12.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists. Wright’s ability to start or come off the bench and play both on or off the ball will allow Casey to nurture Hayes, the 19-year-old lottery pick, to best suit his development. Similarly, Wright can both play with Rose or absorb heavier minutes on nights the Pistons choose to rest Rose or save minutes for him.

“I don’t need the ball to be effective,” the 6-foot-5 Wright said. “I can offensive rebound. I cut well, hit spot-up shots. I do work well with another point guard that also plays similar to me, likes to share the ball. It really works well for me.

“I know Derrick. Hayes, I’ve seen highlights. Once we get to training camp and preseason, I’ll be able to get a better feel for how to play with him. They brought me here to play with him and with Derrick. I know I can make it work. I’m looking forward to growing with these guys and growing with the rest of the team.”