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Wright deal opens playing time for Warriors rookie Barnes

The SportsXchange

Warriors management insisted on draft night it was thrilled to see North Carolina standout Harrison Barnes fall into the team's lap.

The club's actions then spoke louder than its words when the NBA reopened for business July 11.

Dorell Wright, who started all but five of the Warriors' 148 games the past two seasons at small forward, was dealt to the 76ers in a three-team deal that brought back point guard Jarrett Jack from the Hornets.

Make no mistake about it, while the Warriors were happy to get an insurance policy at the point should starter Stephen Curry get hurt again, the biggest impact of Wright's departure was that it created an immediate opening at small forward for Barnes.

Wright's main contribution to the Warriors in two seasons was as a 3-point shooter; Wright hit 37.6 percent in 2010-11 and 36.0 percent last season. His playing time dipped from 38.4 minutes per game in 2010-11 to 27.0 in 2011-12, mostly as a result of Brandon Rush having been added to the team last year.

Interestingly, the Wright trade was made without 100 percent confidence Rush would be returning to the Warriors next season. He entered the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning the Warriors reserved the right to match any offer sheet brought to them by another team.

The Warriors also have Richard Jefferson, who could turn out to be the team's opening-night starter depending upon Barnes' development.
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