OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -Brandan Wright still looks every bit a kid, his braces shining as he discusses his soon-to-be increased role with the Warriors.
His breakout game in Wednesday night's win against Denver has Golden State coach Don Nelson ready to give the second-year forward regular minutes and greater responsibility on a young team trying to find its way in the talented Western Conference.
That means Wright could be on the court even more come Friday, when the Warriors host the Memphis Grizzlies.
``I just wanted to be a spark and do positive things,'' Wright said following a career game featuring 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in 32 minutes off the bench. ``It's good to get out there and play. That's what it's all about. When you get out there and get experience, get familiar with the game and the speed, it just starts rolling for you and you feel more comfortable.''
the draft-night trade in 2007 that sent Jason Richardson to Charlotte. He hardly played in Nelson's system last season as a rookie, appearing in all of 38 games.
Now, with Al Harrington eager to be traded as soon as executive vice president of basketball operations Chris Mullin can pull off a deal, Nelson has little choice but to develop Wright and have him learn the ways of the NBA on the court.
``I'm going to play him,'' Nelson said. ``If Al isn't going to be here in the future we might as well start to think about bringing some of these younger guys along. I'm only going to bring the guys along who are ready to play in an NBA game. Brandan is ready. I've held him back in a few games that he probably should have played but I think it's to the point he needs to grow into his position.
``He's going to be a member of our team and Al isn't, and we have to face reality and go from there.''
Wright was the eighth overall pick in that 2007 draft after earning Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year and tournament MVP honors as a freshman at North Carolina. He averaged 14.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while making nearly 65 percent of his shots in his lone college season.
His Warriors teammates are confident he can do that at this level, too. Wright shot 7-for-9 from the field Wednesday and made 4 of 7 free throws.
It was bound to happen. His time has come.''
While Harrington clearly didn't appreciate Nelson calling him ``disgruntled'' and saying publicly his playing time would decrease until a trade takes place, he acknowledged he will always remain supportive of the others on the team.
``B Wright played incredible,'' Harrington said.
The 68-year-old Nelson, who only last week signed a two-year contract extension that takes him through the 2010-11 campaign, knows working with this team will be a slow process for a while. His players look out of sync at times and are making their share of mistakes.
The Warriors hit big shots when it mattered most in their 111-101 victory over the Nuggets, but it seems they will need to make some major strides to become the playoff team Mullin and the brass are hoping for. Golden State was the first 48-win NBA team not to make the playoffs last season and is coming off consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 16 years.
``It'd be good to be in the hunt again. That's always fun,'' Nelson said. ``Let's see where we are after 30 games.''

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