The Hawks signed Josh Magette to a two-way contract after he played for them in the summer. Magette made his NBA debut on opening night, finally making it to the league at age 27 following a long journey through NCAA Division II, Europe and the G League.
Magette played 18 games (216) minutes for the Hawks and showed a genuine knack for running the team. He had excellent production in assists (9.5 per 36 minutes) with a very low turnover rate, and there’s evidence that Magette created good shots for his teammates with his passing.
Per Cleaning the Glass, the Hawks scored five points per 100 possessions more with Magette on the floor vs. off in 186 non-garbage time minutes. With Magette at point guard for those 364 possessions, the Hawks had significant increases in effective field-goal percentage, including big spikes in accuracy on shots at the rim and in the mid-range. No doubt a lot of the credit for that goes to Magette, who has good vision, makes good reads and finds shooters in rhythm.
However, Magette contributed very little scoring himself and really didn’t look for opportunities in pick-and-rolls. He attempted just 7.7 field goals per 36 minutes with a 41.3 eFG%. Magette made 8 of 22 3-point tries (36.4 percent) but shot 31.6 percent on two-pointers (with just one attempt at the rim) and earned only eight free-throw attempts.
On defense, Magette’s good positioning, awareness and effort were more than offset by his relatively slight frame and lack of foot speed. Magette also didn’t produce many steals or deflections.
Magette is a good G League player who got his NBA shot with a rebuilding team. The Hawks benefited from his steady hand, both in the NBA and at Erie, where he played 36 games this season. But keeping Magette came with an opportunity cost for the Hawks.
They retained Magette and released Quinn Cook, who caught on with the Warriors. Cook played 740 regular-season minutes with the Warriors and showed enough promise that they signed him to a guaranteed contract through next season. Cook is averaging 16 minutes per game in the playoffs.
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