Why Delon Wright said joining Heat made sense, and the notable background. And injury news

Convening for the first time after the All-Star break, the Heat began to integrate one new point guard on Thursday and received good news on another.

Delon Wright, signed on the buyout market last weekend, practiced with the team for the first time and called it a “no brainer” to sign with the Heat.

Meanwhile, Terry Rozier - who has missed two games with a sprained knee - was walking around the Kaseya Center practice court without any limp or limitations and could return at some point during a four-game road trip that begins Friday at New Orleans (8 p.m., Bally Sports Sun).

Rozier and Heat wing Josh Richardson (whose separated shoulder is in a sling) were ruled out for the Pelicans game, but both will travel with the team on this trip. Erik Spoelstra said one of them could return to game action during this trip, and though he declined to say which one, Rozier appears much closer. Kevin Love said Rozier didn’t participate in live drills in Thursday’s practice but moved around very well.

“It looked a lot worse than what it ended up being,” Spoelstra said of Rozier’s knee injury against Boston. “He’s had some very good days working with the staff. He’s making progress.”

As for the 31-year-old Wright, Spoelstra said he was appealing because “he has a skill set that fits us. His defensive skill set fits for sure. He’s a disruptive defender, moves his feet well [at 6-5]. He’s a very good playmaker. He can defend quicker point guards. He’s done that his entire career.

“He can set up offenses. [Heat assistant coach] Wayne Ellington played with him in Detroit; he was one of his favorite teammates. And he’s a veteran. To get someone who has played, is in shape and you can add to your rotation at this time of year without having to make a trade is a big add on. We’re excited about it.”

Wright said other teams had interest but “this was the [team] I locked in on. This was probably the best opportunity for me to play and help a team reach the Finals again. And obviously the culture here. And how long I’ve known everybody here [factored in]. If I want to transition in the middle of a season, Miami was probably the best place to do that for obvious reasons.”

Wright’s brother, Dorell, was Miami’s first-round pick in 2004 and played seven seasons for the Heat. He encouraged Delon to sign here.

“I guess I’ve known him since he was 12,” Spoelstra said of Delon.

During his brother’s Heat tenure, Delon Wright recalled spending time on the Heat practice court with Shaquille O’Neal’s children, Tim Hardaway Jr., Alonzo Mourning’s son Trey, “just shooting while the game is going on. To be here now is just crazy. I wish I was here early in my career. Growing up, watching my brother, watching D-Wade.”

The notion of Wright coming to the Heat was broached by Dorell Wright’s former Heat teammate, Quentin Richardson, at a private party for Udonis Haslem’s jersey retirement last month.

“Q-Rich was telling Spo and [Pat Riley], ‘You need to trade for Delon. He will fit in perfectly,’” Delon Wright recalled Thursday.

Spoelstra confirmed as much: “During UD’s dinner, Q was the one who brought it up, [said], ‘Delon would be a great fit with you guys. When is it going to happen?’ Dorell all of a sudden starts chiming in. UD was like, ‘bring the kid in.’ I thought it was funny calling him a kid. That’s all we feel about him because we knew him when he was so young.”

Delon Wright said Dorell is “probably more excited than I am and that says a lot…. Once the buyout opportunity came, we talked about it like ‘yeah, it’s a no brainer, it’s time to go do it [and play for Miami].”

He was playing only 13.8 minutes per game in 33 appearances for Washington this season before his buyout.

To go from “playing two minutes, three minutes on a team that’s not really trying to win to now playing for something, I’m definitely re-energized,” Delon Wright said. “I’m just excited.”

Wright said the Heat’s system “will be an easy fit for me. Playing against the Heat, they cause a lot of havoc, guys running all around, getting deflections playing off each other. That’s the way I like to play, play freely on defense, obviously within a system.”


Jimmy Butler returned to the team this week after missing three games because of a death in the family. He will play Friday at New Orleans.

“He’s been working; he’s ready,” Spoelstra said. “He was in a great groove before that. He’ll be fine. And we need him doing what he does best.”

But Tyler Herro, who was at Thursday’s practice, is questionable for the Pelicans game because of right foot discomfort.