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Mario West Heading Back to the Hawks

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Mario West being guarded by Gabe Pruitt last week at the D-League Showcase
Mario West being guarded by Gabe Pruitt last week at the D-League Showcase

League sources have confirmed that Mario West is back in Atlanta to sign a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks.  West, who played for the Hawks the past two seasons after making the team as an undrafted rookie, was currently learning how to play point guard for the D-League's Maine Red Claws.  With the Red Claws, he was actually making strides offensively and defensively, but he's still rather raw.

If he ever were to develop into a 6'5" point guard, though, he would probably have been described as having ridiculous upside, but from what I saw in Boise last week, and judging by his 4.1 assists to 3.0 turnovers per game, I'd conclude that Mario West is not, nor will he ever be, a point guard.  He does play very hard, however, which is what earned him a full two-season stint with the Atlanta Hawks after not really standing out and, actually, not getting much  playing time in college at Georgia Tech, home of the Luke Schenscher.

In looking for some possible Hawks fan reaction, I found that Bret LaGree of Hoopinion probably isn't very happy about this.  When West was cut early in training camp, LaGree said "that any NBA team that uses a roster spot on him isn't serious about the end of its bench."  Today, he tweeted "Mario West's return is indicative of team willing to blame lack of effort for losses but rarely willing to blame lack of execution or talent."

This does go to show that, no matter what the D-League players do, they're still going to get overlooked for players that a team is familiar with.  West's holding a roster spot, though it coincided with non-production, for Atlanta the past two years trumped the fact there are ready and capable NBA-quality players in the D-League that have yet to be given an opportunity.  While I'm hesistant to call a 26 year old a retread, I don't think that bringing in some new blood would've hurt.  He wasn't the best option, but nor was Cartier Martin in Golden State - one more and it's going to become an alarming trend.