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The Dorell Wright situation

With free agency in a slow period, several players are playing the waiting game. Count forward Dorell Wright among them. The Heat made a $2.4 million qualifying offer to Wright last month, meaning the team can match offers from other teams.

I caught up with Wright, a restricted free agent, earlier this week and he said free agency has been somewhat slow for him so far. He said he did not have visits scheduled with other teams yet, and that is fine by him.


"I want to be here, I want to be in Miami," Wright said.

Wright gave an update on his rehab from season-ending knee surgery to repair ligament damage, his free agency prospect and outlook on next season.

Dorellwright Q: Where are you in your rehab?

A: I'm not back full-go, but it's going well. I'm trying to get more strength in my quad. The biggest thing is getting my quad stronger to support my knee, and continuing to keep working and keep pushing.

Q: When do you expect to be back to 100 percent?

A: In 3-4 weeks.

Q: Your rehab is behind what you thought it would be earlier this offseason. What happened?

A: It's taken a little longer because of my body, a little swelling (in my knee). I'm trying to get the swelling out of there and trying to get the quad stronger. I'm in no rush. I'm trying to take one day-at a time.

Q: So has the swelling been a setback?

A: It was in the beginning, but it's starting to move out of there.

Q: With the addition of Michael Beasley and James Jones, is this going to be a playoff team?

A: Definitely. I'm pretty sure we're going to make a complete turnaround from last year.

Q: There's now a logjam at the perimeter, so where do you see yourself fitting in?

A: At first I see myself in training camp competing for a spot, and from there I don't know.

Q: Do you seriously think you'll have to earn a roster spot in training camp?

A: Everybody is going to have earn a spot, learn the system, and do the right things. I don't think Coach Spo (Spoelstra) is going to give it to anybody.

Q: What kind of interest have you received from other teams?

A: I've been hearing stuff from other teams. When a lot of the bigger name (free agents) go, I'll have a better understanding of where I'll be.

Q: What has it been like being in wait-and-see mode, since free agency began?

A: It's difficult. No one wants to wait. It's kind of nervewracking. You want to know where you're going to be, or what's going to happen. Hopefully, everything works out for the best for me and my family.

Q: If another team offers you something longer-term than the Heat's qualifying offer or more lucrative, would you leave here?

A: That's me sitting down with my agent and family, seeing what do I want to do.

Q: So a team could lure you away?

A: Probably, but I still want to be here.

Coming off of knee surgery, and having only shown glimpses of his potential last season, it seems likely that Wright ends up with the Heat. Although the Heat has plenty of perimeter players, Wright's contract fits with the team's direction--he would only be under contract for the 2008-09 season--and the team will certainly need depth on the bench. Entering his fifth season, this is a huge year for Wright. The Heat has tried to be patient during his development but it's make-or-break time. Wright averaged a career-high 7.9 points in 25.1 minutes a game last season.

If Wright is on the Heat next season, what role do you see him playing? With Jones a likely sixth man at this point, would Wright be your seventh man, or would you put Daequan Cook in before Wright? Will Wright fulfill his potential? 




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