The Utah Jazz Are Still Paying Their 1993 First Round Draft Pick

File photo courtesy of Luther Wright

The Utah Jazz Are Still Paying Their 1993 First Round Draft Pick


I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Luther Wright?! I wasn’t until recently. Wright was a former first round pick. He was selected by the Utah Jazz with the 18th pick in the 1993 NBA Draft.

However, Wright only played 15 games over the course of his rookie year, averaging 1.3 points. These 15 games also were the last games of his professional career.

Playing only 15 games wasn’t because he was lacking talent or something of that nature, but mental issues. In January of 1994, police found Wright at a highway rest area, banging garbage cans and smashing in car windows. Wright entered a mental institution, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and left the team. A sad story indeed, but not a story of relevance for the NBA today? Well, it’s not that easy. You see, the 7’2 big man, is still under contract with the Jazz and gets paid every year.

Under the terms of his contract settlement with the Jazz, Wright was going to be paid $153,000 a year for 25 years. These 25 years will end in 2019, meaning that Wright’s employer still is the Utah Jazz franchise (kind of).

Today, Wright is putting his life back together and has earned a job at his alma mater, Seton Hall.


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