The point guard position will look quite different for the Atlanta Hawks this season. The position the last couple of seasons has been one of strength for Atlanta, but they enter the 2016-17 with a talented group but one that has a number of question marks.
Veteran point guard Jarrett Jack is expected to be a stabilizing force in the Hawks backcourt on and off the court. The Hawks agreed to a one-year deal with Jack on July 10 after he was waived by the Brooklyn Nets.
Jack is a valuable locker room player and is well liked around the league and could serve as a valuable mentor for guys like Dennis Schroder and even Malcolm Delaney who will be making the transition from playing in Europe to the NBA. However, there are question marks regarding what Jack brings to the court.
Jack’s 2016 season came to an end after 32 games due to an ACL injury in his right knee. His rehab continues to progress and he has vowed to be ready by training camp, but there is a good chance the Hawks will play it safe with him early and bring him along slowly.
Jack put up good numbers with the Nets before going down with injury averaging 12.8 points and a career-best 7.4 assists. However, those numbers are a bit hollow thanks to a high usage rate and a 39 percent shooting percentage. He knocked down 30 percent of his three-point attempts and turned the ball over nearly three times per game. Jack’s net rating last season was -5.8. In fact he hasn’t posted a positive net rating since the 2013 season. Six of his last seven seasons have resulted in a net rating in the negative.
One thing the Hawks have in their favor is that they won’t need Jack to play heavy minutes even if he ultimately wins the backup job. That should have a positive effect on his efficiency. The biggest concern with Jack at this stage is that his speed and mobility take another hit due to the knee injury. He has never been regarded as even an average defender and struggled to finish at the rim last season before the injury.
If Schroder shows that he is ready and Delaney can fill in as the backup then Jack can slot well into an Elton Brand role with Atlanta. However, if Jack is pressed into a bigger role as a backup then the Hawks may be forced to look for help outside the organization.