Detroit Pistons’ Delon Wright out 2 weeks with groin strain; next up, Dennis Smith Jr.

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II | Detroit Free Press

Detroit Pistons guard Delon Wright suffered a grade 2 right groin strain against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the team announced Sunday.

The injury occurred during the fourth quarter, when Wright grimaced while running back on defense after hitting a 3-pointer. It’s unclear exactly how he tweaked his groin, but the Pistons called timeout to pull him out of the game.

“He said he didn’t remember exactly how he did it, that was the scary part,” head coach Dwane Casey said after the Pistons’ 109-95 road loss. “He was just getting back in transition and felt it. We don’t know what the situation’s going to be, if it’s serious or now. He was back on the bench. I guess we’ll wait and see how he feels tomorrow.”

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It comes at an inopportune time for the Pistons, who are still awaiting the return of their rookie point guard, Killian Hayes, from a torn labrum in his hip. Detroit will be shorthanded at the position until either Wright or Hayes, who will be re-evaluated in late March, returns.

The Pistons (8-21) have seven games remaining before the All-Star break, beginning March 5.

Wright was in the midst of a hot streak, averaging 16.7 points (61.8% shooting, 55.6% from 3), 6.1 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals in his past seven games. He scored 16 Friday while making six of his seven attempts, and four of his five 3s. He also had four assists, three rebounds and two steals.

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His injury opens more playing time for Dennis Smith Jr., who arrived in Detroit two weeks ago in the Derrick Rose trade. Smith is still acclimating himself, but had already established himself as the backup point guard. He filled the box score Friday, finishing with five assists, four rebounds, three steals and three blocks in 23 scoreless minutes against the Grizzlies. He missed all seven of his shots.

Detroit’s two-way guards, Saben Lee and Frank Jackson, will also likely see more playing time. Of the two, Lee is Casey’s preferred option at point guard. He has appeared in eight games this season and has shown flashes of the playmaking and athleticism that made him the Pistons’ second-round pick in the 2020 draft.

Rodney McGruder is also an option at point guard, should the coaching staff choose to preserve Lee and Jackson’s allowed two-way days.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa. Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

 

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