LAS VEGAS — Sometimes, it seems Warriors power forward Brandan Wright exists in a different realm, a much more pacified realm.
His expressions are often mellow, his body language relaxed, his aura calm. These intangible attributes can come across as apathy. But sitting down with Wright, it becomes clear he's just a patient kind of fellow.
Hear him talk about the heap of expectations being strapped to his 6-foot-9, 205-pound frame.
"I don't really look at things like that," Wright said. "I just go out there and play my game, play ball. You can't really rush situations. This is only my second year in the league. I'm 20 years old. I'm going to continue to get better with my overall game. It's one of those things that's going to come as I get more experience."
Hear him explain his development this offseason, and what he's planning to accomplish.
"I've still got work to do," Wright said. "I've just got to be a little bit better, a little bit more consistent, and produce more. Hopefully it will lead to wins."
Hear him share his thoughts about the fact he isn't dominating in summer league and at times has been the fourth-best player on the Warriors' summer league squad.
"I'm playing pretty consistent overall. I think I'm doing the little stuff. "... You do those things, the game will come to you a lot easier than it would if you were forcing shots. That's how I'm doing out here. I'm not trying to force anything. I'm trying to let the game come to me and play within our realm, but also try to expand what I can do."
Warriors' followers may be waiting for Wright to leap into stardom, a la guard Monta Ellis. But Wright is fine with steady progression. He isn't pining for All-Star births or anxiously waiting his chance to hit game-winning shots. He's looking forward to hours of dribbling, thousands of shots, sets of weights. He isn't looking to be the man right now but to feed off his teammates.
Unlike many highly talented athletes his age, Wright isn't in a hurry to reach his peak but content with the process of getting there. He's the type who instead makes sure to cover all his bases, do all the little things and let everything else fall into place.
It showed in his positivity last season while he rode the bench, though fans and members of the media were calling for him to play. It is showing during summer league, while he focuses on developing his outside shot and post moves rather than putting up huge numbers and shining like other players with NBA experience.
Not that he isn't making strides. Wright looks comfortable shooting from the perimeter, a sign his midrange jumper is coming along. He's also shown he can push the ball up the court.
"He's improved in all areas," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "He should be able to play some this season."
Wright said he's spent most of the young offseason working on his shot and his dribbling. Come the start of the season, he expects to be able to effectively create off the dribble in either direction when he catches the ball at the top of the key. He said he's also put on weight and, most important, added strength.
Wright entered summer league at 208 pounds but figures he lost it back with all the running. He'll likely gain the weight back heading into training camp, where he could lose it again. But he said his increased strength would stick around.
Fortunately for Wright, the Warriors aren't banking on him immediately reaching his potential. Management (potentially) added three players at his position in rookies Anthony Randolph and Richard Hendrix and veteran power forward Ronny Turiaf, who could become a Warrior today if the Los Angeles Lakers do not match the offer sheet he signed with the Warriors last week.
"It wasn't a direct hit towards me or anything like that," Wright said of the new additions. "Last year, actually two years in a row, we haven't rebounded the ball. We need to throw bodies out there. We need guys who can do a lot of different things. Turiaf and Richard are two different types of players than me and Randolph."
Wright said he doesn't feel slighted, disrespected or even challenged. Instead, thankful. He gets to enjoy the process.
Contact Marcus Thompson II at firstname.lastname@example.org.