OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Dorell Wright is getting another chance to start over and leaving behind another team that has more salary cap space in his absence.
The Golden State Warriors agreed Tuesday to trade Wright to the Philadelphia 76ers for the rights to a player currently in Europe, a person familiar with the decision said.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because teams can’t announce any trades until the free agency moratorium ends Wednesday, said Golden State would receive Edin Bavcic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in return. The 76ers acquired Bavcic’s rights in a trade with Toronto in 2006.
The move frees up about $4 million in salary cap space for Golden State, which drafted small forwards Harrison Barnes of North Carolina seventh overall and Draymond Green of Michigan State at No. 35 two weeks ago to take Wright’s place. The Warriors now have about $8 million to spend before going into the luxury tax.
Wright’s acquisition is the latest move in a busy offseason for the Sixers after a surprising year where they made a run to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Once the moratorium on deals ends, the Sixers will use the amnesty clause on Elton Brand and the $18.1 million he’s owed in the final season of a five-year contract — a move that has to happen for the Wright trade to go through.
Philadelphia also agreed to deals with forward Lavoy Allen and center Spencer Hawes and a one-year contract with veteran swingman Nick Young. Young’s arrival allowed the Sixers to part ways with reserve guard Lou Williams.
Wright also becomes the 3-point threat needed when Philadelphia decided to not re-sign Jodie Meeks.
The 6-foot-9 Wright is entering the final season of his three-year, $11.4 million contract — coincidentally negotiated by Warriors general manager Bob Myers, who is Wright’s former agent. With so many one-year deals, not re-signing Williams to a multiyear contract and clearing some cap space to give them room to make some minor deals the rest of the summer, the Sixers are clearly aiming to have plenty money available to deal in the 2013 free agent market.
They also have a player who can make an immediate impact.
Wright was expected to be a long-term project when he was selected out of high school by Miami with the 19th overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. He just wasn’t expected to take so long.
When Wright finally began to blossom, the Heat couldn’t afford the athletic small forward. LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami two summers ago to take Wright’s spot.
What Wright found out West — at least for one season — was the chance he’d been waiting for to shine.
Wright averaged 16.4 points and started all 82 games during the 2010-11 season. He led the league in 3-pointers made (194) and finished third in voting for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award behind Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge.
But his playing time slipped under rookie coach Mark Jackson and so did his performance. Wright averaged 10.3 points and started 61 of 66 games during the lockout-shortened season.
After the Warriors selected Barnes and Green in the draft, it became clear Wright’s time with the Warriors was all but over. Golden State also has Richard Jefferson under contract for two more seasons and is hoping to re-sign restricted free agent Brandon Rush — likely using the money Wright freed up.