The Wizards signed Mike Scott to a one-year, $1.7 million deal this offseason to help fill the combo forward void left by Bojan Bogdanovic.
Washington had trouble scoring last season when Bradley Beal and John Wall were off the floor last season. The only player who came close to alleviating that burden was Bogdanovic, who could space the floor as a shooter at the 3 or the 4. They’re hoping to get similar production (on a much cheaper deal) from Scott this season.
Before he signed in Washington, Scott spent the better part of five seasons with the Hawks. His best season came in 2013-14, when he averaged 9.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He made a strong impression during the Hawks’ first round playoff series against the Pacers that season, as they pushed the top-seed to seven games. His new teammate Ian Mahinmi remembers him well:
Unfortunately Scott was only able to play in 18 games last season due to a knee injury. The Hawks wound up sending Scott, who was on an expiring deal, to Phoenix in a salary dump at the trade deadline.
To get a better sense of what we can expect from Scott this year, we decided to chat with Brad Rowland of Peachtree Hoops, SBNation's Atlanta Hawks site.
What were the major strengths and weaknesses of Scott's game while he was in Atlanta? How did he develop as a player over his five years there?
BR: Scott's major strength comes in the form of bench scoring. He isn't a player that will necessarily create his own shot all the time but, as a pick-and-pop option, Scott displayed the ability to be a high-end shooter during his last full (and healthy) season in Atlanta. If anything, he probably shoots too often (Hawks Twitter found "Mike Scott will shoot" amusing) but, offensively, he is a very valuable piece.
His weaknesses come defensively and, to a lesser extent on the glass. Scott entered Atlanta as a more bruising, highly efficient big man at Virginia but he transitioned into a more perimeter-oriented game and lost weight in the process. That was helpful for his offense but, defensively, Scott has always struggled. He did improve to the point of playability in his final full year but that will always be a point of concern with his profile.
What is the most important aspect of Scott’s game that he can bring to Washington?
BR: Floor-spacing. Being able to deploy a high-end shooter at the 4 is always helpful and, if paired with Gortat, his defense would be hidden to a certain extent. John Wall's passing is, obviously, tremendous and he would be the best pure facilitator that Scott has ever played with. That can only be a good thing if Scott is healthy and shooting the ball effectively.
Scott has never played more than 18 minutes per game in his career, do you think he can be more than a role player if needed?
BR: Given what we've seen from Scott to this point, I think it would be a stretch to play him in a more prominent role. On a grand scale, his defense wouldn't be palatable against starting-level competition on a regular basis unless he was really dominant as a shooter offensively and we just haven't seen any evidence of that. He can be helpful if he's healthy and last season was an aberration caused by injury, but Scott is probably best served in a smaller role.