The most specialized* specialist in the NBA, putative energy guy, and offensive rebounder of such abandonment that he might be classified as a health risk Mario West accomplished at least two things in his (baffling in its very existence) second NBA season:
- He scored more points than he committed fouls.
- He proved that he cannot contribute at all on the offensive end.
*Useful for harassing the opposition's best perimeter player while he dribbles down the clock on an end of quarter possession.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Every day that Mario West spends on the Hawks' roster is an indictment of the organization's competence. Certainly seems like a nice guy, though.
Gardner got just 98 minutes to attempt to prove he's becoming something more than the high-volume, low-percentage, high-turnover, non-defending player he was at Missouri. He made 9 of 36 shots, 4 of 23 three-pointers, earned two assists, turned the ball over three times, and never had to play defense. There's little indication why he was on the roster beyond league rules limiting how few players a team can employ.
Hunter only played 92 minutes but, because he demonstrated a potentially useful skill set (rebounding, not taking bad shots) at Ohio State, I suspect he's the most likely of the players discussed in this post to carve out an NBA career though his upside is likely as a fifth big man who won't kill a team if he's pressed into duty for a couple of weeks due to injuries to a couple of bigger, better players.
I have no idea why he didn't spend more time in the D-League.
Signing Randolph Morris seemed like a risk-free acquisition with potential benefits last summer. Today it seems more like a waste of time than money. The few times he left the bench he looked, understandably, nowhere near game shape. Morris has played just 314 minutes in two-plus NBA seasons, making 35.8% of his field goal attempts, 51.3% of his free throws, and committing a turnover or a foul every three-and-three-quarter minutes he's on the floor.
Claxton's in the final year of the four-year deal he signed in the summer of 2006. The $5.2 million left on that deal now stands as an expiring contract and presents, perhaps, the first and last bit of value the organization will get from that deal.