Who Should be the Atlanta Hawks’ Backup Point Guard?

Mar 10, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Jose Calderon (13) talks to head coach Mike Budenholzer against the Toronto Raptors in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Jose Calderon (13) talks to head coach Mike Budenholzer against the Toronto Raptors in the second quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dennis Schroder
Mar 11, 2017; Memphis, TN, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) brings the ball up in the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

Many Moves Have Been Made

Nothing lasts forever, so the Jeff Teague era came to an end.

He was dealt prior to the draft in a three-team trade that resulted in the Hawks acquiring the draft’s no. 12 overall pick.

It was all systems go for Dennis Schroder this year and despite some expected struggles for a 23-year-old point guard, he has been remarkable.

The more questionable decisions regarding the point guard position have been with the depth of the bench.

Moving on from Teague in favor of Schroder was inevitable, a no-brainer of a formality. It’s what has transpired with the reserves that could be considered unsettling.

I still don’t know how anyone in their right mind would trade Shelvin Mack, a bright young player that starred at Butler University, for the ghost of Kirk Hinrich.

But that is a move the Hawks made.

Mack made 27 starts for the Jazz that same season, posting a line of 12.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 31.4 minutes of action.

Hinrich played 10 games of very little production for the Hawks, then was out of the league. While Mack has been reduced to a reserve role for the Jazz this season, he is still better than both options that coach Budenholzer currently has.

The Hawks also had a couple of savvy veterans with them during training camp that could have served as a 3rd point guard.

Both Jarrett Jack and Will Bynum were signed to veteran minimum deals near the end of free agency.

Neither of those players has made much of an impact in the league for quite some time. Bynum has not been on an NBA regular season roster since 2015.

The Hawks decided to cut each of them before the preseason and proceed with only two point guards. It still could have benefited the Hawks to keep one of them.

Atlanta Hawks guard
Feb 25, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) defends the shot by Atlanta Hawks guard Malcolm Delaney (5) during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Coach Budenholzer has been very lucky to not have dealt with any injuries of significance at the position because chose an undrafted rookie, who spent several years overseas, Malcolm Delaney, to serve as Schroder’s lone back-up.

He had the potential to have a terrific season and bolster the team’s 3- point shooting, but he has been a disappointment.

Jose Calderon has shot just 38.1 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from deep in 17.4 minutes per game. The Spaniard has averaged 5.5 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

Delaney’s underwhelming overall performance could have been the driving force behind the Hawks adding the 35-year-old veteran, point guard.

Budenholzer has wasted no time integrating Calderon within his scheme since adding him to the group. He has already begun taking Delaney’s minutes (12.5 per game) while appearing in 6 of 8 games since joining the team.

On his weekly radio show on Hawks flagship station of the Hawks, 92.9 The Game, it was actually concluded that the Spaniard has already won the role of backup point guard.

Rick Kamla, host of “On the Court with Coach Bud”, broached the subject this past Thursday with Budenholzer.

"“About Jose Calderon, he has obviously taken Malcolm Delaney’s spot in the rotation, talk a little about that decision and how quickly that decision came. Calderon had a nice game Saturday at Memphis for you, with 14 points.” Kamla proclaimed. “We feel good about both Jose and Malcolm. I think we felt like it was important to give Jose the opportunity quickly to see how he would mesh with the group and how he could help us. We’d like to have different buttons to push during the playoffs. We’re still very happy with Malcolm and kind of evaluating that. Going down the stretch we’ll probably play them both and evaluate what ways we can use them. I think they’ll both help us down the stretch.” Budenholzer responded."