MLP Trade Reaction – Matt Wright for DJ Young
On top of all the Shuffle Draft action from the Challenger division on Thursday, there was a Premier division trade that was made. The Milwaukee Mashers traded DJ Young to Frisco Clean Cause for Matt Wright. Unlike the Challenger division, there are limited options out there for the struggling Premier teams to find their way out of a hole. The struggling teams are most likely limited to potential trades with other struggling teams because there is a feeling of a need to do something. This is exactly what led to Thursday’s trade that mostly makes sense for both teams, but gives a far greater benefit to one over the other.
Let’s start with Milwaukee. They selected DJ Young in the 4th round and acquire Matt Wright, who was selected as the first pick of round 2. DJ Young was seen by us as a potential value pick that late in the draft, but the Mashers haven’t been able to work things out as a team. Their women, Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova, have been far from dominant, and DJ Young has not won mixed matches. DJ was the obvious choice to move for Milwaukee as Lucy/Callie have been getting some results together recently and Daescu is too good to move. The Mashers were able to capitalize on the desperation of Clean Cause to find a player who is a clear upgrade, at least on paper, in both men’s and mixed.
Matt Wright was a tough evaluation prior to the draft and he remains an enigma. He was drafted into a terrible situation that may have lead him to mentally check out of a certain level of focus and energy that is needed for MLP. We had never seen Wright play at MLP and the early returns in 2023 have not been good. That being said, watching some of Clean Causes matches back, there are times when you can see that Wright’s personality is kind of built for MLP. If he had a more competitive team, you would probably be getting a lot more trash talking and a higher compete level from the attorney who does not need pro pickleball to make a living. On the other hand, there are 6 players in the world regularly in the mix for a men’s doubles gold at a PPA event and Matt Wright is one of them.
Wright is now in a situation where he should be motivated. He’ll get to play men’s with Andrei Daescu, which puts the Mashers at a top 3 men’s team in Premier. He’ll get to play with his regular partner, Lucy Kovalova, as a 1(a) or 1(b) mixed team. Although DJ Young isn’t a good Dreambreaker player, Matt Wright is definitely worse. He looked exactly as you would expect him to in Daytona, but it is worth the risk for the upgrade in doubles. This is a huge win for the Mashers.
For Frisco, the prevailing wisdom is that they had to do something. While we may not disagree with this move, when the best case you can make for a trade is that you had to change something up, that might not get you very far. For whatever reason, Matt Wright/Zane Navratil couldn’t make it work so this may be a push at worst for DJ/Zane as they have played some recent tournaments together, or even an upgrade on the version of Matt Wright that Clean Cause was getting. Matt Wright looked checked out playing mixed for Clean Cause but another guy who can check out is DJ Young. DJ needs to be motivated if he wants to cement his Premier spot, but Young’s mixed play continues to leave much to be desired. If Young is engaged, it actually could be an upgrade overall regardless of whether Matt finds his higher level with Milwaukee.
It can’t get much worse out there for Frisco, but DJ Young is a downgrade over the non-MLP version of Wright, other than for a Dreambreaker situation. Maybe a change of scenery for DJ and a trade breathes some life into the rest of the Frisco team. The problem is that they aren’t that good overall. Yana Grechkina, who has had some good results as of late, and Lina Padegimaite are both fringe Premier talents while Zane is a middle of the pack guy stuck in a lead dog role with another fringe Premier male. That’s not a winning recipe.
This is a trade made out of necessity for both teams. The Mashers are fortunate that they were in a power position and were able to wait until Clean Cause was out of options to do something before the final event of the year.
Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below or email us at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and also make sure you subscribe to our newsletter for fresh content!
6 thoughts on “MLP Trade Reaction – Matt Wright for DJ Young”
Great content as always. As we’re getting close to the end of the first half of this year of MLP, I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer that there exists a large gap in the quality of team management and ownership from the best to worst teams.
Thanks as always. Outside of Frisco, not sure there is anyone operating terribly at the Premier level but the Challenger level with a lot more new owners it is glaring how poorly some of them are doing to start off with.
Nice little trade for Milkwaukee. Matt never cared much about MLP, at his age he’s only about his PPA gig playing the 10% of the court that Riley lets him play (and they showed today that partnership is still legit with a really nice win).
Lucy said on a recent pod that she and Matt were unlikely to play the 2nd half of the year in MLP, so with only 1 event left in their MLP year, the only MLP thing Matt is going to care about is a game with Lucy, and now that’s what will happen, so this trade is the best possible use of Matt in MLP. If Lucy and Callie can finally play up to their potential, Milwaukee can have a really good event.
I don’t see DJ moving any needles, but agree it’s arguably an upgrade for the final event.
In what world does Matt play 10% of the court in mens at PPA, he plays 40% at worst, in fact the primary strategy for his opponents has been to dink to his middle backhand, a spot that wouldn’t even exist if he wasn’t playing a substantial amount of court.
Let’s call it a figure of speech for Fred. No one thinks Matt is playing 10% of the court.
He still probably doesn’t care that much about MLP but if his team is getting results he may feed off that energy. Both he and Lucy like the big stage. If we’re going to get a good version of Matt Wright, it will come at this MLP. We would agree about DJ.