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McKinley Wright IV invited to NBA draft combine

Former CU Buffs point guard hopes to impress ahead of July 29 draft

BOULDER, CO - March 4, 2021: ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
BOULDER, CO – March 4, 2021: Colorado’s McKinley Wright IV takes a jump shot during the Arizona State Colorado men’s basketball game in Boulder on March 4, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

McKinley Wright IV will get an opportunity to showcase his skills at the NBA’s biggest pre-draft event.

On Tuesday, the NBA released its list of 69 players invited to the draft combine, and Colorado’s former point guard made the cut. The NBA draft combine will be held in Chicago, where Wright spent a portion of his childhood, beginning Monday.

One of just three first team all-conference selections in the history of the CU men’s basketball program, Wright completed his Buffs career as the program’s all-time leader in assists (683), while ranking sixth in scoring (1,857), sixth in total field goals (668), 10th in made 3-pointers (133), ninth in made free throws (388), tied for ninth in career free throw percentage (.803), tied for 10th in steals (140), and tied for 20th in total rebounds (644).

Wright also owns four of the top nine single-season assist totals in CU history, and his 130 starts tied with Austin Dufault for the second-most in program history. Wright was one non-start as a freshman, or a lone missed game due to a shoulder injury as a sophomore, away from tying Cory Higgins’ CU record of 131 starts.

Although Wright is the only Pac-12 men’s basketball player to post at least 1,800 points, 600 rebounds, and 600 assists in his career, his 6-foot stature and average career 3-point percentage (.328) have kept Wright’s name off the top NBA mock draft boards. However, Wright certainly can take solace from two of the Buffs’ more recent draft picks, Derrick White and George King, neither of whom were regarded as prominent draft prospects going into their final seasons with the Buffs.

White parlayed his first team All-Pac-12 season and strong pre-draft workouts into a spot in the first round of the 2017 draft, getting picked 29th overall by San Antonio. King also turned in impressive showings at pre-draft workouts to become a late second-round pick (59th overall) by Phoenix in 2018.

Wright was one of six Pac-12 players invited to the combine, a list that also includes the Arizona State duo of  Marcus Bagley and Josh Christopher; UCLA’s Johnny Juzang; USC’s brotherly big man tandem of Evan Mobley and Isaiah Mobley; and Stanford freshman Ziaire Williams.

The NBA draft is scheduled for July 29.

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