Wright taken as 47th pick

On Tuesday night, Indiana's 15th all-time leading scorer was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves to continue his basketball career at the professional level. Bracey Wright became the first Hoosier selected in the NBA draft since Jared Jefferies in 2002.

Since he was drafted in the second round, Wright will not receive a guaranteed contract, like those granted to first round picks. Despite not having a definite contract, Wright should have a good chance to make the T-Wolves roster. Minnesota also selected shooting guard Rashad McCants with their first round pick, however they are expected to lose both shooting guards from the 2004-2005 squad. Latrell Sprewell is a free agent, and his backup, Fred Hoiberg, recently had heart surgery and may not return. The Wolves showed that shooting guard was a priority for them by selecting Wright and McCants, however the Big Ten's leading scorer last year will still have to work hard to make the Timberwolves roster.

Wright was excited about being drafted by Minnesota, saying, "It feels really good to have Minnesota select me. I am willing to do whatever they need me to do next season. They have a great group of players already there, including Kevin Garnett, and I am just happy to be a member of their team."

The former Hoosier was also excited about playing alongside McCants, saying, "I have talked with Rashad and we are both excited to play together. Rashad and I have played together before back in high school. We are good friends off the court, so I am looking forwards to playing with him in Minnesota."

If Wright can make the T-Wolves roster for next year, he will be the fourth former Hoosier currently in the NBA, joining Jeffries, Calbert Cheaney, and Alan Henderson. Wright became the third playing drafted during the Mike Davis era, along with Jeffries and Kirk Haston. Davis was excited for his former star, saying, "I am exited for Bracey being drafted by Minnesota. Ever since he came to Indiana, his goal was to reach the NBA. We are going to miss him here, but at the same time, we are excited about the players who are returning and the newcomers we will have next season. I think this is a great opportunity for him and we wish him nothing but the best as he begins his professional career."

During his career at Indiana, Wright knocked down 1498 points, including 186 three pointers, good for 3rd on the Indiana all-time list. Wright became the first Hoosier since AJ Guyton in 2000 to lead the Big Ten in scoring in 2005, and earned his first All-Big Ten First Team accolade. He was named the Big Ten player of the week on six separate occasions, good for seventh best in league history.

Indiana will have a tough time replacing Wright's 18 points per game, but the Hoosiers look poised to be an improved team in 2005-2006. Expect AJ Ratliff to see more playing time, and for a possible move to the shooting guard spot from Marshall Strickland.

As the NBA offseason goes into full swing, Wright will have a better idea of his chances of making the team's roster. If Minnesota resigns Sprewell or Hoiberg returns from heart surgery, then Wright will struggle to find a spot. If he does manage to gain a spot though, he is expected to receive a one year deal at the league minimum, which is common for second round draft picks.

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