Oh, brother. Delon Wright follows brother Dorell's footsteps playing for Heat

Updated Feb. 22, 2024 5:49 p.m. ET

MIAMI (AP) — Delon Wright has been on the Miami Heat practice court countless times. He used to play there for hours alongside the likes of Tim Hardaway Jr., Gary Payton II and Trey Mourning while their fathers were downstairs in actual Heat games.

He was back on the court Thursday — in uniform.

Wright, the brother of former Heat guard and 2006 NBA champion Dorell Wright, had his first official practice with the Heat on Thursday. He agreed to sign with the reigning Eastern Conference champions last week after being bought out by Washington and got the deal done once he cleared waivers Sunday.

“To be here now, it's just crazy,” Wright said. “I wished that I was here earlier in my career. Growing up, watching my brother, watching (Dwyane) Wade, I already knew about the Heat culture and what to expect. I'm just happy that I'm finally here. It's one of those surreal moments.”


Delon Wright was 12 when Dorell Wright was drafted by the Heat in 2004. He's 31 now, and Miami — which opens its post-All-Star slate on Friday at New Orleans — is about to become the eighth NBA team he has played with, joining Toronto, Memphis, Dallas, Detroit, Sacramento, Atlanta and the Wizards.

“We feel fortunate that we were able to acquire him on a buyout,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He has a skill set that just fits us, and we’re all very familiar with him. I guess I’ve known him since he was 12. It's crazy how fast time is going. Somebody just mentioned it yesterday in the office that they didn’t realize he was 31, and we're like, ‘Yeah, we had Dorell 20 years ago.’ That just shows you time's flying.”

Wright had the endorsement of Heat assistant coach Wayne Ellington, who was teammates with him with the Pistons. And Spoelstra's interest may have been piqued last month when former Heat players like Quentin Richardson gathered in Miami for Udonis Haslem's jersey retirement celebrations.

Richardson suggested that Delon Wright would be an ideal Heat player. Dorell Wright — who Delon Wright said is probably as excited about his brother signing with the Heat as anyone — agreed. There was talk of trading for him, though that never materialized. Things fell into place when the buyout was agreed to and the Heat needing help after guard Josh Richardson dislocated his shoulder earlier this month.

Richardson's status is unknown. Wright — a defensive pest and solid playmaker — seems like the candidate who'll slide into his role in the Heat backcourt, at least for now. He had averaged only 2.6 points and 8.2 minutes in his last 12 appearances with the Wizards, and his role in Washington seemed to be further diminishing in his final four games there.

“Playing two minutes, three minutes on a team that’s not really trying to win to now, playing for something, yeah, I’m definitely re-energized,” Wright said. “I’m just ready to play, ready to compete. That’s the best way I can explain it. I’m just excited. It’s Miami.”


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA