August 16, 2022

They say history is destined to repeat itself, and we’ve seen it happen many times.

Mavericks forward Moses Wright lived it. And he’s hoping for his own personal deja vu moment starting with the Mavericks’ summer league action this week.

He just hopes it doesn’t take that long to replicate his previous basketball successes.

The Mavericks’ roster of 14 players seeking to earn invitations to fall training camp in September met for the first time on Tuesday. They open summer play in Las Vegas on Friday against Chicago (3 p.m.). It will be the first of at least five games in the 2022 NBA Summer League.

And for Wright, it’s the start of an important year in his professional life.

Wright is coming off a rookie season in which he played just three NBA games. That would be three more than he played for the varsity team in his first two years of high school.

But by the time he was a senior, he not only made the varsity team, he averaged 21.5 points and 13.5 rebounds and earned a scholarship to Raleigh, North Carolina to play. at Georgia Tech.

Same story in college.

As a freshman at Georgia Tech, he averaged just 3.6 points and 3.4 rebounds on a 13-19 team.

By the time he was a senior, the Yellow Jackets went 17-9 and made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 11 seasons. Wright averaged 17.4 points and 8 rebounds. He shot 53.2% from the field as a senior. He had shot 30.7% in the first year. He not only increased his shooting percentage, but also his scoring, rebounds, assists, 3-point percentage and minutes played over the four seasons at Georgia Tech.

So, does Wright see a similar growth chart in store as he tries to climb the admittedly more robust NBA ranks starting in his second season?

He hopes so, but with a twist.

“I’m hoping to get through this, where it takes three or four years, because I don’t want to wait,” Wright said Tuesday after practice. “It’s my second year, cut it in half. The first year I sat down, I really learned. This year, I come for what I have to come for.

“I have to speed up the clock at some point. I saw the progression (in high school and college). I do not want to wait. There’s a free spot here, so that’s what I’m fighting for.

The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Wright may have only played three games in his rookie season, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t full of promise and success.

He averaged over 19 points and nine rebounds in 29 G-League games, some with the Agua Caliente Clippers, some with the Texas Legends in Frisco.

Mavericks assistant coach Gregg St. Jean, who coaches the summer team for the next 12 days, said it’s clear Wright has the NBA ability the Mavericks hope to exploit not just in Las Vegas but next season.

“Moses has had a phenomenal year in the G-League,” St. Jean said. “First team all G-League, so it’s pretty damn good in your first year. I think the most important thing is to get used to the speed and the size of the NBA. He’s a versatile defender and obviously a versatile attacking player.

Wright figures as one of the Mavericks’ weightlifters during summer league, along with second-round rookie Jaden Hardy and a pair of newcomers with modest NBA experience, Jalen Lecque and Miye Oni.

His strategy for getting noticed in Las Vegas?

“I want to be the most dominant big (man) out there,” he said. “Whether it’s talking, rebounding, defensive presence, whatever I do, just be dominant in what I do.”

Wright said there were two keys the coaching staff wanted to pass on to players at the start of summer training: work hard and be selfless.

They could also be keys to speeding up history, perhaps by repeating themselves.

BRIEFLY: Josh Green is entering his third season but will not be part of the summer league roster. He will, however, be in Las Vegas, where he trains. “I wasn’t fully involved in Josh’s summer plan, but what I do know is that Josh has already worked really hard this summer,” St. Jean said. “He was one of those guys who had a really big chip on his shoulder after our playoff run and had a phenomenal summer so far. He’s going to be in Las Vegas with us. Which is going to be great. We can’t wait to see him and a few of our other players on the roster. But his summer plan so far has been pretty rigorous. Green hasn’t participated in national team activities Aussie this summer… The Mavericks will practice Wednesday and Thursday at the Biosteel Training Center before heading to Las Vegas for Friday’s 3 p.m. game with the Bulls.

Twitter: @ESefko