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Former Hawk Mike Scott cleared of drug charges by Georgia judge, return to NBA possible

Atlanta Hawks Media Day

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26: Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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It looks like Mike Scott will get another chance to prove he belongs in the NBA.

Back in July 2015, Scott was arrested on felony drug possession charges along with his brother, Antonn. They were pulled over for a traffic stop (after allegedly trying to elude police), and were found to have marijuana and MDMA (Molly).

However, a Georgia judge granted the request of Scott’s attorney to not use the evidence found in the traffic stop because the pair were pulled over based on racial profiling, according to a report. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has the details.

Banks County (Ga.) Superior Judge Currie Mingledorff II granted Scott’s motion to suppress evidence against the forward and his brother, Antonn Scott, largely based upon testimony and evidence that suggests a pattern of racial profiling by law enforcement in the county.

“In my 35 years of practicing law, this could be the worst case of racial profiling I have ever seen,” Steve Weiner, counsel for Mike Scott, told The Vertical. “Hopefully this will lead to Banks County, Georgia, re-evaluating their policies.”...

In an eight-page summation, the judge’s conclusions included that “sufficient articulable suspicion did not exist to uphold the stop of the Scott vehicle,” nor was there “probable” cause to arrest the brothers. The judge’s conclusions in the ruling also found that “the search of the vehicle was not proper,” and the sheriff’s department’s methodology “does trigger the exclusionary rule under the Equal Protection Clause.”

In essence, the judge is saying they got pulled over for “driving while black” and the car shouldn’t have been searched, therefore the fruits of that tree — the drugs — are not admissible. Which pretty much ends the prosecutor’s case.

Scott, a 28-year-old 6'8" forward, played four seasons for the Hawks before this one. After some good seasons, and with the charges hanging over him, Scott struggled through 18 games this season, then was traded at the deadline to the Suns, who waived him in a cost-cutting move. He’s a good catch-and-shoot forward who has worked to become a decent NBA defender. As a backup he has a role in the league when he plays within himself.

Now that he has been cleared, teams will likely have some interest in him as a free agent come July.