The Atlanta Hawks have officially made their first splash since Al Horford verbally agreed to a deal with the Boston Celtics, and it comes in guard Malcolm Delaney.
The Hawks agreed to a two-year guaranteed deal with the guard, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
Delaney played his college basketball at Virginia Tech from 2007-2011, and went undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft. His most recent stint of basketball came with Lokomotiv Kuban of the VTB United League. He’s made his rounds around Europe, with stints with Élan Chalon, Budivelnyk Kyiv, Bayern Munich, and most recently with Lokomotiv Kuban.
Delaney stands at 6’3, and had been eyed by both the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets, as SB Nation’s Ridiculous Upside pointed out here.
A little scouting report, from Ridiculous Upside’s Trevor Magnotti:
Delaney was lightning in the backcourt for Lokomotiv Kuban last season, helping them become the only non-permanent Euroleague member to make the Final Four of the competition, and leading them to a 22-8 record in the VTB league. playing alongside former College of Charleston point guard Dontaye Draper and Russian slasher Evgeny Voronov, Delaney was the primary three-point shooter for Lokomotiv Kuban, hitting 70 triples in Euroleague action and another 40 in the VTB. He hit many of these off the dribble in the pick-and-roll or isolation, where he has become almost Damian Lillard-esque in his ability to stop and pop from the arc.
Delaney also works well as a spot-up shooter, although on the ball is where he's more comfortable. He and Draper split duties at the point for much of the year, with Delaney handling more of the pick-and-roll action and Draper up top for more motion-based offense. It seems that this will be Delaney's role delineation in the NBA as well, as he's better set up to be a ball-dominant guard rather than a spot-up shooter who occasionally gets pick-and-roll looks. He scored 18.9 points per 40 minutes last season, on a 23 percent usage rate, and I could see him potentially posting similar scoring rates in the NBA.
Delaney's also a decent finisher at the rim, although this would be a space for him to improve in. Delaney relies a lot on his pull-up jumper, and developing better touch at the rim would help him become a more well-rounded threat on the ball, particularly because he won't have as easy of a time getting those shots off against the length of NBA defenders. That he averaged 6.4 free throw attempts per 40 minutes is a good sign, and he's a lights-out free throw shooter, hitting between 86-88 percent in each of the last three seasons. If he can draw contact at a similar rate in the NBA, that will help, and that free throw shooting makes him a nice end-of-game candidate to protect a lead.