Wesley Saunders '15 Traded for Keith Wright '12 in NBA D-League

Published by David Freed on February 24, 2016 at 5:04AM
Saunders to Spurs

Wesley Saunders '15, shown above in Harvard's 2014 NCAA Tournament victory over Cincinnati, was traded for fellow Harvard alum Keith Wright '12, in the NBA's D-League

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In the first NBA trade ever to feature only Harvard graduates, the D-League’s Westchester Knicks traded Wesley Saunders ’15 to the Austin Spurs Tuesday night for Keith Wright ’12. Saunders had been averaging just 4.4 points in 18 minutes a game for the Knicks, while Wright was mired at the end of the bench in Texas, getting just under nine minutes a game of playing time.

A couple of Saunders’ new teammates are his old college foes. Nick Johnson (Arizona), Keifer Sykes (Green Bay), and Cady Lalanne (UMass) all lined up against Saunders at some point in his college career, with the Harvard star going 2-2 against the trio. A bit bigger than both Sykes and Johnson, Saunders, whom Harvard coach Tommy Amaker called the team’s best player during each of his last three years in Cambridge, should move into a backup shooting guard role for the Spurs.

Wright, like Saunders a former Ivy League Player of the Year, will also have additional opportunities for his new team. He immediately becomes the third-biggest player on the Westchester roster, tied with Damien Inglis behind Jordan Crawford and Gani Lawal. His lackluster performance this year (35.5 percent shooting versus 51.7 percent career) may change with a move back to the Northeast.

Wright’s first action with his new team will likely come on Thursday against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, while Saunders will take the court in his new uniform for the first time Saturday against the Oklahoma City Blue.

—Staff writer David Freed can be reached at