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:
The Atlanta Hawks are trading guard Shelvin Mack to the Utah Jazz for a second round draft pick, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 18, 2016
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.