In a sense, you could say the Hawks have been scouting Malcolm Delaney since he was in high school.
For it was back in March 2007 when Jeff Peterson, the Hawks’ current assistant general manager, made a last-second shot to lead his DeMatha High team to a victory over Delaney, the guard who just agreed to a contract with Atlanta, and his Towson Catholic team. DeMatha’s 58-56 win over Towson Catholic in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Maryland was the last high school game for both players. Peterson’s team won both regular-season matchups, and he was even on the winning side over Delaney in the Capital Classic all-star game a month later that year.
Their careers have come full circle.
Peterson went on to a college career at Iowa, Arkansas and Florida State and joined the Hawks’ scouting department four years ago. Delaney went on to Virginia Tech where he was All-ACC first team as a senior and junior. He wasn’t drafted and has played the past five seasons overseas.
The Hawks have followed Delaney’s career closely. The team agreed to a two-year guaranteed, $1.4 million deal with the point guard this week. The contract can be signed following the end of the NBA’s moratorium on Thursday or thereafter.
The role for the 27-year old will be determined in training camp where he will have a chance to earn the backup point guard position behind Dennis Schroder. The Hawks likely will bring in another point guard and ultimately could use the same rotation as the start of last season when the roster included starter Jeff Teague, Shelvin Mack and Schroder, all with different strengths.
Delaney turned down substantial offers to remain in Europe for a chance at the NBA and there was interest from other teams in the league.
Delaney, 6-foot-3, is best described as a jump-shooting, pick-and-roll player. He has professional experience and is mature player with steadiness, poise and confidence. He will benefit from the Hawks’ player development system.
Delaney averaged 16.3 points, 5.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 31 Euroleague games last season. He was named to the All-Euroleague first team.