Shelvin Mack: the Newest Jazzman

February 18th, 2016 | by David J Smith
Shelvin Mack became the newest Jazzman, courtesy of a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Shelvin Mack became the newest Jazzman, courtesy of a trade with the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

While the talk Wednesday night and Thursday morning centered around troubled Houston Rockets point guard Ty Lawson, the Utah Jazz ultimately passed on that possibility and went the more conservative route. As rumored, they obtained an Atlanta Hawk guard…just not the one that has been oft mentioned the past few weeks. Per Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:

He is not Jeff Teague, but Shelvin Mack is player who makes a lot of sense for the Jazz and is a name that has been mentioned in the past. The 6’3″ guard will not wow anyone, but is a solid play-maker who has good NBA experience, including the past four seasons with what eventually became an overachieving Atlanta Hawks team.

Mack, a five-year veteran, was the 34th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, being plucked up by the Washington Wizards. As a rookie, he proved to be a solid, but unspectacular back-up to All-Star John Wall. After a cup of coffee with the Philadelphia 76ers, he settled in with the Hawks. His best season was the 2013-14 campaign, where he paired with Teague to give Atlanta a solid point guard duo. That year, Mack averaged 7.5 PPG, 3.7 APG, 2.2 RPG and shot 86.5 percent from the free throw line. With Dennis Schroeder on board, Mack’s been used most as an insurance player the past two seasons.

Mack will bring some strengths to Utah. He is a heady point guard who has posted a decent 28.3 assist percentage and a 2.83 assist-to-turnover ratio for his career. He will take care of the ball and be a nice addition to the bench, giving Utah some much-needed depth. He has shown the ability to finish at the basket1. Mack can consistently knock down the mid-range jumper, but is inconsistent from downtown. He is not afraid to mix it up defensively, and uses his body well on that end.

Mack is someone the Jazz have had their eyes on for years. From working him out in 20112 to the natural connections with Butler University teammate Gordon Hayward, Mack is a known player. While he can play, having the tie with Hayward definitely helps things short and long-term for Utah. It also certainly helps that Jazz head coach Quin Snyder spent a year with him in Atlanta.

Financially, Mack is only on the books for $2.4 million with an option for next season for the same amount. That gives Utah some flexibility. As of right now, the Jazz have three point guards on roster in Raul Neto, Trey Burke and Mack. With rampant rumors circling about Trey Burke, more could happen shortly. Should Burke be moved, Mack would be a nice second or third point guard once Dante Exum returns from injury.

Not the glamorous move some Jazz fans pined for, but this is a subtle move that could help the team as it makes a Playoff run.

David J Smith

David J Smith

Besides writing for Salt City Hoops, David contributes to the Utah Jazz coverage for the Deseret News and has written for the Utah Jazz website and (now Basketball Insiders). He graduated from BYU and works for LDS Philanthropies. He and his incredibly patient wife, Elizabeth, have some amazing children--four girls and two boys. Voted "Most Likely to Replace Jerry Sloan" in high school.
David J Smith


  1. LKA says:

    Good post David. Wanted Mack along with Heyward draft. He could be a good backup for years to come. I really thought Burke and Booker would be moved. Booker in a contract year probably will not be picked up if Lyles continues to progress. With thoughts of being moved maybe Burke can settle down and play for his “Next contract.” I think his mothers comments on twitter are really hurting this young player. Some good strong tape on her mouth would come in handy. Wish Jazz coulod have picked up Ben McLemore from the Kings.

  2. IDJazzman says:

    Thought it was interesting that a second round pick goes to Atlanta for Mack, then Atlanta sends a second round pick to Chicago for Hinrich. So, in theory the Jazz could have had an over the hill Hinrich.
    Mack seems to fit Utah’s team and Utah still has an asset with Mack. Mack’s contract is a team option in renewing one more year this summer. Speculation is, if the Jazz don’t trade Burke this summer, they can still possibly trade Mack for something in some sort of deal, as the Jazz will not need 4 PGs next year. Not a big move, but a nice little deal that gives flexibility.

  3. Pingback: Updated SC7: Why Exum’s Still Central, Shelvin Mack and More | Salt City Hoops

  4. Paul Johnson says:

    Even if the Jazz keep all of Exum, Burke and Neto next season they may also keep Mack. He essentially fills the combo guard role that Chris Johnson has been playing. Therefore, if anything, this trade may assure that Chris Johnson will not be kept long-term by the Jazz (something I already thought, but now we know who his replacement most likely will be).

    • Jason says:

      It seems like Burke won’t be around next season. I thought he would be moved but it sounds like he is wanting to start somewhere, and that won’t be here. Hopefully he plays well and gets himself in a good situation, he has really taken his role professionally, even if his parents haven’t.

  5. LKA says:

    Would agree with Jason. But I really don’t see a starting spot for him in the NBA, A good basketball IQ and keeping in shape will be as high as he gets. And the last fews games he has regressed to around 30% range in shooting. Not good. I think they will use him as a trade chip or filler at draft time. But he is what he is and his parents will find that out and realize they have probably hurt his value in their coments.

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