The Orlando Magic are wadding in the shallow end of the free agent pool. Signing guard Shelvin Mack to a team friendly deal is another step in the right direction.
The Orlando Magic made a small splash in the free agent market by signing veteran guard, Shelvin Mack. The terms are two years worth $12 million according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Mack’s role with the Orlando Magic will be in a backup situation behind starter Elfrid Payton.
Mack played his last two seasons with the Utah Jazz averaging 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Mack is not the definition of a marksman shooter but he is capable of knocking down the occasional outside shot. A career 32 percent three-point shooter doesn’t exactly get the team to the next level. What the Magic are hoping for is stability behind Payton in terms of defense and running the offense efficiently. Magic team president, Jeff Weltman, reiterated that the team would be very strategic when analyzing free agents this year due to the lack of cap space and long-term vision.
“I think our approach hasn’t changed a lot,” Weltman said following the Magic’s final Summer League game Thursday. “We’ve really looked to take a kind of long view, cautious approach. There is a lot less money in the free agent market this year than last year. The approach we have taken is to kind of wait and see how some of that shakes out toward the next phase of free agency and see what players we can get into discussions with at that point.”
Adding a player like Mack is exactly the type of deal Weltman referred to. A team friendly two-year deal for a player who can provide veteran experience and has had success on winning teams. Mack played for the 60 win Atlanta Hawks team in 2014-2015 and the Utah Jazz this past season.
The best case scenario for Orlando is that Mack can provide players like Payton and Wesley Iwundu, with another viewpoint on running an NBA offense from a veteran standpoint. While not expected to contribute a ton of meaningful minutes on a nightly basis, Mack is capable if the Magic suffer any unforeseen injuries throughout the year as well. Worse case scenario, the Magic move on in two years with a ballpark cap space between $35 and $55 million to start over with a fairly clean slate from the last regime.
Every team needs a veteran contributor to help young players develop. Last year the Magic gambled on veterans Jodie Meeks and Jeff Green to be those mentors but were unsuccessful. This year it will be Shelvin Mack.