Warriors notebook: Forward Brandan Wright being eased back in

Ordinarily, it would be too early to be concerned about a player

sitting out due to a coach’s decision. The

Warriors are just three games into

the exhibition season, after all.

But when the player riding the bench is forward Brandan Wright,

eyebrows are raised.

Wright was the only Warrior who didn’t play in Tuesday’s loss at

Sacramento. The previous game, Sunday against the visiting Kings,

he was yanked after 2 minutes, 23 seconds of action after making a

bad pass, and he sat the rest of the game.

No, he’s not injured. Coach Keith Smart is just not impressed

with Wright’s play thus far. But the question begs whether Wright

is rusty or just not reaching his potential.

Certainly, the

Warriors need him to show and prove

as soon as possible.

“I’m not just going to sit the bench,” Wright said. I don’t feel

like they’re going to waste me.”

Thanks to the uncertainty surrounding the reserves, Wright’s

ability to produce is that much more important to the

Warriors. Consistent production from

Wright would go a long way to smoothing out the rotation.

Golden State is still holding out hope that he would reach the

potential that made him the No. 8 overall pick in 2007 and prompted

the

Warriors to give up fan favorite

Jason Richardson to get him.

Wright has shown some signs on the offensive end. The

Warriors need someone who can score

off the bench, so Wright’s ability to finish and create offense

would be an added boost. But the

Warriors don’t need just scoring.

They need him to rebound and be a presence on defense.

Wright has played 33 minutes so far this preseason. His five

rebounds are fewest of any player with 30 minutes or more. Guard

Charlie Bell has as many rebounds in five fewer minutes.

Of course, Wright hasn’t played in a regular-season game since

the end of the 2008-09 season. He’s injured his left shoulder

twice. The latter, coming in last year’s training camp, required

season-ending surgery. He acknowledged he’s still getting the rust

off.

Smart said one of the reasons he didn’t play Wright at

Sacramento was he wanted to see signs the rust is off in

practice.

“The biggest thing is that the kid has been out a long time,”

Smart said, “and basketball-wise he hasn’t had a chance to play.

I’ve got to be cautious with him and let him get some good

practices under his belt and not put him in for spot time in

games.”