The Detroit Pistons might have had a face-to-face meeting with Josh Smith in the early morning hours Monday, but he wasn't the only free agent forward the Pistons expressed interest in.
According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Detroit was one of several Eastern Conference teams to reach out to Wright in the early free agency period. Other teams include the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks.
Wright has been a longtime Detroit Bad Boy crush not only for his blazing efficiency but for his very under-the-radarness. The thinking has been, instead of going after and overpaying the marquee names *cough Josh Smith, cough *, the team should instead poach a good player like Wright on the cheap and give him an expanded role.
With so many teams vying for his services it remains to be seen if a "bargain" is even possible, but it's good that the Pistons are interested. Wright would be a great backup big, especially paired with the more offensive-oriented Jonas Jerebko or Charlie Villanueva.
For more on Wright I'll turn it over to a Mike Payne joint from January(!) extolling the big man's virtues:
Brandan Wright (unrestricted free agent): Wright is my favorite free agent target this summer, and for several good reasons. He's played 73 games for the Mavericks at center and power forward, he's averaged 63% from the field throughout that stretch, he's developed a nice jump shot and blocks more than a shot per game in less than 17 minutes off the bench. He's one of the most productive big men in the league despite his limited burn, and the advanced stats are crazy about him. I'd love for Detroit to pass him a three year deal as the team's first big off the bench, playing an offensive role while holding his own on the other end at either position.
Verdict: He's coming off of a $1M deal with the Mavericks and doesn't have a solid relationship with Rick Carlisle. He's likely moving, and he might be had for the Amir Johnson / Chris Wilcox rate of years passed-- 3 years, $12M. If he's given a chance at real burn in 2013-14, he could be the free agent steal of the summer.