Orlando Magic Player’s Analysis: Shelvin Mack

Shelvin Mack, Point Guard

Age: 27

Contract Status: 2 years/ $12 million

2016-17 stats: 55 games, 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 44.6% FG, 30.8% 3PT, 68.8% FT

PER 36 stats: 55 games, 12.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 44.6% FG, 30.8% 3PT, 68.8% FT

The Orlando Magic’s first free agent signing of the Weltman/Hammond era was a small blip on the radar. Shelvin Mack isn’t the biggest name but he is a familiar name to those that follow basketball. At only the age of 27, Mack is a relatively young veteran who has bounced around the league a bit. Mack isn’t the flashiest player or the most talented but he knows how to fulfill his role. Shelvin Mack is coming off of a pretty standard year for him statistically. It’s not the numbers that make Shelvin Mack a great pickup for the Orlando Magic, it’s his intangibles. Mack gives the Magic another Veteran known for being a good locker room guy that can show this young team what it takes to win. Mack himself has been part of four playoff appearances and has no problem coming off the bench.

Strengths of Shelvin Mack

A few things come to mind as strengths for Shelvin Mack. Mack is a solid 6’3″ 203-pound combo guard but will be used as a point guard for Orlando. One of his biggest strengths is drives to the rim.  According to Basketballreference.com Mack was able to convert 63.7% of his attempts within 3 feet of the basket. He has great body control and can finish through contact. Mack is an intelligent player that does not play outside of his abilities. 68.5% of all Mack’s FG attempts were inside the 3 point arch. 42% of those within ten feet of the basket.

From a backup point guard, the main thing you are looking for is consistency. Mack is not the type of player to try to take over a game or carry a second unit. He knows what his limits are and is very capable of running an offense.

Weaknesses of Shelvin Mack

One of Mack’s weaknesses since college has been his quickness and athleticism. Because of his average speed, Mack has trouble staying in front of faster point guards on defense. He makes up for this lack of quickness with an above average wing span that helps him close out on shooters. His high basketball IQ helps him to take the correct angles and be one step ahead to cut off opponents even though he isn’t as quick as they are. Even with average speed and explosiveness, Mack is able to find a way to the rim on offense.

The Magic wanted to add more shooting to this year’s roster, Mack does not help much in that department. As the Magic know, having a point guard that is not a threat to shoot the ball limits the offense. Shelvin Mack converted 30.8% of his 3 point attempts last season. When Mack is on the floor opponents have one less deep threat to worry about and can play him loose on the perimeter.

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Expectations for Shelvin Mack

Shelvin Mack is coming to the Magic as a backup Point Guard. The question is whether he will be the second or third option. The Magic brought in D.J. Augustin last season and he still has 2 more years left on his contract. Augustin is a better shooter but can be streaky. Mack has a good chance of challenging Augustin for the primary backup position. The Magic have a lot of money tied up in the point guard position alone. Both Mack and Augustin will make over 11 million combined this season. One of them will need to win the backup role to Elfrid Payton which may cause the other to be shipped out at the trade deadline for more assets. With Mack having a team option in his second year, he has to prove his worth to stay in Orlando. I look for Mack to keep the second unit afloat while Payton sits and not lose too many turnovers. If he can do that, he will win the backup job.

Projected 2017-18 position: Reserve Point Guard

Shelvin Mack to the Orlando Magic is a stability signing, doesn’t change team long term sight

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.

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