Malcolm Delaney has had a successful run in Europe the past few seasons but now wants to return state side and try his hand in the NBA this upcoming season.
Delaney, who played college basketball at Virginia Tech, will have his choice of European clubs this summer as he is currently a free agent. However, Delaney told Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops that he has a strong desire of returning to the United States and playing in the NBA.
“It’s true that I’ve already had good offers from European clubs. Regarding Olympiacos and Panathinaikos that you mention, I know that it’s very likely they want to sign me. The NBA is the big priority and I’m not going to respond to any of the offers until the NBA matter clears up. If something happens and this prospect doesn’t work, then I’ll look at all the options and make a decision. I want to be closer to my family and enjoy basketball even more.
“Last summer I was very close to signing with an NBA team. At the last second, something happened with the team’s salary cap and the deal wasn’t finalized. This year, I think my prospects are better… I’m going to wait for the NBA even if I have to risk losing offers from Europe. There is also China, a market that I view seriously, because it gives me the option to play a few months with a very good contract and then be available either for the Euroleague or the NBA.”
Delaney had a career year this past season, leading his Russian Club, Lokomotiv Kuban, to a Euroleague Final Four berth. The 6-foot-3 guard had a tremendous 2015-16 Euroleague season, averaging 16.1 points along with 5.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 30 contests. He shot 42.4 percent from the floor and 39.3 from beyond the arc. He was named the MVP of Round 1 and Round 2 of Euroleague play as well as to the First Team All-Euroleague.
Delaney reached double-figures in 27 of the 30 Euroleague games, which include six games of 20 or more points. The 27-year-old also posted one double-double and had three games with double-digit assists.
Overall, Delaney appeared in 58 games this past season for Lokomotiv. He averaged 14.5 points, 4.9 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in 30.9 minutes of action. He finished with a 40.9 shooting percentage and connected on 36.1 percent of all his shots from beyond the arc.
Delaney went undrafted in 2011 and has spent his entire career in Europe, though he did play for the Detroit Pistons Summer League team in 2012. Delaney began his professional career in France with Elan Chalon and has also played for Budivelnyk Kyiv and Bayern Munich before spending the last two seasons with Lokomotiv. He was named league MVP of the Ukranian SuperLeague in 2013 and German Bundesliga in 2014.
Delaney is a shoot-first point guard though he is also a solid floor general. He is very durable and has the ability to get into the lane and draw fouls – Delaney set Euroleague records for minutes played and drawing fouls. Delaney is an excellent free throw shooter and possesses a very effective pull-up jumper. However, he struggles on the defensive end.
In a separate article, Varlas reports that the Brooklyn Nets and Houston Rockets have interest in Delaney. It is no wonder that both teams are interested as they are two teams who struggled at the point guard position last year.
Brooklyn finished 26th in the NBA in scoring, averaging 98.6 points a game, and ranked 20th in turnovers with 14.3 a contest. The Nets currently have three point guards on its roster — Jarrett Jack, Donald Sloan, and Shane Larkin. Neither one of those three are strong scorers.
Jack did a good job replacing Deron Williams as the Nets’ starting point guard before tearing his ACL, which limited his season to 32 games. Jack averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 assists but only shot 39.1 percent from the floor and 30.4 percent from beyond the arc. Jack has one year left on his contract.
Larkin, who has a player options for next year, had a decent year but is better suited as a backup or third stringer. Sloan’s best skill is rebounding from the point guard position, and he is a free agent.
Houston, in the meanwhile, was the fourth-highest scoring team with 104.5 points a game, but the Rockets were also 26th in turnovers a game (15.2). Patrick Beverley is the only true point guard currently on Houston’s roster and he is not a scorer or distributor. Beverley is an elite defender, though.
SB Nation is reporting that the Nets may also be interested in bringing former San Antonio Spur and Toronto Raptor Nando de Colo over from CSKA Moscow. The problem is that if the reigning Euroleague MVP does return to the NBA, he would be a restricted free agent, meaning that the Nets would have to outbid the Raptors or work out a trade to obtain his services. It is also believed de Colo is working out a contract extension with CSKA Moscow.
Nando de Colo élu meilleur joueur de la saison d'Euroligue https://t.co/ZSHaitB0no
— L'ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) May 12, 2016
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