Making the Case For Chris Wright As The NBA D-League's Best Point Guard

Jonathan Daniel

A strong skill set and a great start to the season has propelled the Iowa Energy's key facilitator - Chris Wright - to the top of the D-League point guard list. His ability to run an offense is apparent to those that watch him play. It's easy to make the case for him as the league's best floor general.

Iowa’s Chris Wright is the Best Point Guard in the NBADL, but you wouldn’t know it simply by looking at the latest updates to the D-League Top 30 Prospect List. The Georgetown product is listed tenth overall, behind fellow point guards Ben Uzoh (#2) and Shelvin Mack (#5).

Wright is an aggressive player on offense. The 6'1" guard has a strong first step that gets him to rim. He uses his solid build and athleticism to finish strong. The 23-year-old is a serious threat in transition, where he usually draws contact or dishing it out to a teammate for an easy bucket. His impressive 40% shooting from behind the arc forces defenses to respect his perimeter play.

Utilizing his excellent court vision, Wright can get the ball to open teammates, furthermore creating shots for him and others on drives and dishes. He rarely misses an open man.

On defense, Wright shows the same tenacity and effort that he does on offense. He fights though screens and can pick a pocket with ease. He's an energy player who never stops working, elevating the play of those around him.

As expected, Wright’s strong skill set has translated into a great start to the season. Using advanced statistical analysis, it is easy to see that he has performed ahead of his peers and is dominating the other point guards in the NBADL.

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Per Minute Performance (PER) is the stat with the highest correlation to getting a call-up. PER is the measurement of a players overall efficiency while on the floor. Most D-League players will see limited playing time in The Association. It only makes sense that NBA teams value players who contribute the most in limited minutes.

Among the point guards in the NBADL, Wright is second to Courtney Fortson at 17.60.

Assists Percentage (AST%) is the percentage of a teams made field goals that a player assisted. This statistic measures a player’s ability to facilitate an offense. Historically, an AST% over 25 is needed for a call-up. This threshold is no problem for Wright -- his 37.24 AST% is best in the D-League.

Shooting efficiency is also important, as called up players are expected to make the most of their scoring opportunities. Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) takes into account both two-point and three-point shot attempts to determine scoring efficiency. Wright is performing at a respectable 45.6%.

Teams also use Turnover Percentage (TOV%) to estimate how many times a player will turn the ball over through 100 possessions. As the facilitator of the offense, a point guard must take care of the ball and limit turnovers as much as possible. Wright’s 14.62% ranks towards the lower end of the list.

The final number that cements Wright’s place at the top is the Pure Point Rating (PPR). The pure point rating is used to rate a point guard's ability to create scoring opportunities for their teammates. It values a high number of assists and a low number of turnovers.

With a rating of 4.77, Wright is well ahead of the competition: Ben Uzoh (3.37), Courtney Forston (3.03), Garrett Temple (1.82), and Shelvin Mack (1.34).

This type of domination at the point guard position was seen last year, when Walker Russell Jr. received a call-up to the Detroit Pistons. Russell lit up the assist categories, and his ability to elevate the play of his teammates (AST% and PPR) helped him ultimately reach the NBA.

If Chris Wright continues to perform at this level, expect to see him higher on the NBADL top 30 prospect list, and ultimately, soon on an NBA roster by the end of this season.

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