The off-season trade of Jeff Teague to the Indiana Pacers gave way for the Hawks to start 2013 First Round selection Dennis Schroder to start as point guard. Now, with Schroder at the helm, there was a vacant position as a backup point guard, which is an essential position on a NBA roster. It is very difficult to for a team to win consistently without having a backup guard who can keep the offensive flow intact once your starters need a breather. The Hawks were looking for someone that could maintain the production off the bench that Schroder provided for Teague in his first three years. Dennis and Teague were considered as one of the best 1-2 point guard combinations in the NBA for two seasons; this tandem was an integral part of the Eastern Conference Finals appearance in the 2014-2015 season.
The Hawks would take a chance overseas and sign former Virginia Tech point guard Malcolm Delaney. Delaney was a 28-year-old rookie during the 2016-17 season, but not a rookie to professional basketball. Delaney had very eye popping accolades coming over to the NBA, including a couple of championships and league MVP’s in the German and Ukrainian leagues. Of course, it’s not the mecca of basketball like the NBA, however if you win a Most Valuable Player honor in any professional league, it’s impressive.
There was buzz surrounding the arrival of Delaney early in the season as he displayed the potential to be a respectable replacement to now starter, Dennis Schroder. He was known as prolific three-point specialist, which was another key element to the Hawks acquitting Delaney. Early in the year as Dennis was still getting acclimated to the role of a NBA starting point guard , Delaney got a fair share of minutes averaging around 18 per game the first half of the season. One of his impressive traits was his ability to conduct a flow of the offense and get others involved while on the court. During a two month stretch in the first half of the season, Delaney averaged more assists per 100 possessions than Dennis Schroder.
However, the inconsistencies of Delaney in regards to his shot selection caused major concerns. His outside shot never developed last season as many expected when he was signed. Delaney averaged (5) points per game, (3) assists per game and (1.7) rebounds per game, which is a very distinct drop off in production in comparison to Schroder. Delaney had a dismal 36% field goal percentage and was atrocious from behind the arc shooting 23%.
His lack of production led to the Hawks acquiring Jose Calderon late in the season, relegating Delaney as the third guard on the team. Delaney played one game in the playoffs for 3 minutes, with a new GM arriving in town, the future of Malcom Delaney is up in the air. I’m not sure what to expect from Delaney moving forward, but in a journeyman’s first year in the NBA, hopefully they don’t give up on him so soon.
Delaney’s First Half grade: C+
Delaney’s Second Half grade: D+
Michael Thomas: (@ChosenOne_MT10)
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