It's the dawning of a new era in New Orleans basketball, and with so much attention paid to matters off the court this season, I believe it's time to evaluate how our franchise performed during its time on the court. As a result, I want to begin an evaluation of the front office, the roster and the coaching staff and see how they performed, what could happen going forward, and whether or not you approve of their job this season. Without further adieu, the next player we're going to look at is Jarrett Jack.#2 Jarrett Jack, PG, New Orleans Hornets
Seventh season in the league (second with the Hornets) out of the Georgia Institute of Technology (1 Year, $5.6 Million left on contract)
45 Games, 39 Starts, 15.6 PPG, 6.3 APG, 3.9 RPG, 87.2 FT Pctg., 34.8 3PT FG Pctg., 45.6 FG Pctg., 17.9 PER, 109 Offensive Rating, 109 Defensive Rating
Best Game this Season: January 2nd at Utah Jazz (27 Points, 11 Assists, 5 Rebounds, 2 Blocks, 1 Steal in 40 Minutes during a 94-90 loss)
We've kind of already touched on this topic earlier but, for the sake of continuity, we'll discuss it in the matter that we've discussed the other players thus far. Jack entered this season as the team's starting point guard following the departure of his good friend and Hornets franchise player Chris Paul in the off season. As a result, Jack had very big shoes to fill and, following Eric Gordon's injury, also was forced to assume the role of the team's best offensive player. Given that Jack was entirely miscast this season as the team's star player, it's admirable to see the numbers he did actually put up.
Jack was efficient all over the court this season. As mentioned previously, he finished in the top half of point guards in PER and also shot the same true shooting% as a likely MVP Candidate in Tony Parker. However, Jack did struggle with his assist percentages and getting other members of the team involved. Aside from the pick and roll, Jack wasn't especially adept at creating off the dribble for his teammates and they weren't really good at knocking down shots when he was able to. It's a big reason why the team, as a whole, probably performed better with Vasquez on the court despite Jack being the better overall player.
But one thing you can't knock Jack for is his dedication and leadership to an otherwise hopeless team this year. So often he was seen taking control of the huddle, pointing out where players were supposed to be defensively and taking the big shots for the Hornets in the times that they've needed it. He didn't knock down those shots with blazing regularity but the fact that he was willing to take those shots and the fact that he always assumed responsibility regardless of the results are great signs moving forward for the team.
As for Jack's future, his contract goes up at the end of next season and it's questionable how much better he can really get. For all intents and purposes, this was Jack's career year and it's hard to imagine him really expanding on that. However, he did perform at a top 20 rate at his position and, for his price-tag, that's pretty good value. I'd almost assure that Jack will be penciled in as the team's starting point guard to start next season due to his familiarity with the franchise, his relationship with Monty Williams and the lack of better options externally, but he may not be here much longer after that.