ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — Milwaukee Bucks forward Chris Wright has left the team to sign a professional contract overseas, coach Jason Kidd said after practice Monday.
Since the deal is not yet official, the team Wright is signing with is unknown. According to a report from EuroBasket late last week, the Greek club Panathinaikos was interested in adding Wright.
With 16 players competing for 15 spots, Wright was likely the odd man out with the Bucks.
"It’s a decision that he made," Kidd said. "He got the offer and I think he financially couldn’t turn it down."
The Bucks signed Wright to two separate 10-day contracts during the 2013-14 season. Wright averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds over 15.8 minutes in eight games with Milwaukee a year ago.
Wright’s second 10-day contract expired with one game left in the regular season, leading to the Bucks signing him to a multi-year, non-guaranteed deal to allow him to play in the regular season finale. The contract also allowed Wright to work out at the team’s training facility during the summer and compete for a roster spot in training camp.
The Bucks used their open roster spot last season to evaluate three different players on 10-day contracts with the hopes of bringing one into camp the following season. Wright ultimately was picked over Tony Mitchell and D.J. Stephens, but his odds of making the roster decreased following the reconstruction of the roster that occurred this offseason.
The 6-foot-8 forward played collegiately at the University of Dayton, helping the Flyers to an NCAA tournament berth and three trips to the NIT in his four years. Wright averaged 13.0 points and 7.2 rebounds in 123 games at Dayton.
Wright went undrafted in 2011 and was picked by Maine in the NBA’s Developmental League draft. He went to training camp with Golden State after the NBA lockout in 2011 and made the roster. Bouncing back and forth between the Warriors and the D-League, Wright played in 24 games and averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Warriors in 2010-11. He spent training camp with the Toronto Raptors last season before being waived in late October.
Before signing his first 10-day contract with the Bucks last March, Wright averaged 19.5 points and 8.1 rebounds in 38 games for the Maine Red Claws of the D-League. The 26-year-old was named to the D-League All-Star team in 2013 and 2014.
Wright’s decision to sign overseas leaves the Bucks with 17 players on the roster, which includes training camp additions Michael Eric and Elijah Millsap. Milwaukee will likely release Eric and Millsap at the end of camp to get down to 15 before opening night.
Staying home: Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova was absent from practice Monday due to a bout with the flu.
"It has been going around his family," Kidd said. "If one person gets it, everybody is going to get it. You guys know how it is."
Unlike last season, Milwaukee has been relatively healthy during training camp. Khris Middleton missed two days last week following a medical procedure to remove a cyst, while rookie Damien Inglis has yet to fully participate while recovering from a fractured right foot.