This past June the Wizards added three rookies through the draft. The final of the three draft picks was former Butler point guard Shelvin Mack with the 34th overall selection.
After the trade deadline move Ernie Grunfeld made to acquire Jordan Crawford and trade away veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich, the Wizards were sorely lacking depth behind starting point guard John Wall. Filling in that role down the stretch were Mike Bibby—before he was bought out after being acquired from Atlanta—Jordan Crawford playing both guard spots, and journeyman Mustafa Shakur. So the addition of Mack is much needed.
Shelvin Mack played at the small Butler University, but was a key piece in the Butler Bulldogs playing in two consecutive championship games. After declaring for the draft following his junior season he fell all the way into the early second round before Ernie Grunfeld and the Wizards selected him.
Leading up to the draft Mack was a favorite of many draft analysts and he was given many positive player comparisons. NBADraft.net compared Mack to current Pistons guard Ben Gordon and many even said Mack has upside similar to that of former All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups. All of these comparisons bring about a lot of hope and heightened expectations amongst Wizards fans, however, we have to be realistic. I, personally, was a huge fan of Shelvin Mack and couldn’t be happier we drafted him, but he’s still a rookie and we must let him develop. Remember, Chauncey Billups was the 3rd overall pick in 1997 and he didn’t make his first All-Star team until his 10th season.
As far as playing time is concerned, I don’t think Shelvin could have landed in many better spots as a rookie second round pick. As of right now he is slated to be John Wall’s primary back-up at point guard. The team has hinted at acquiring a veteran to fill that role as well, but nothing substantial has occurred yet on the free agent market besides the signing of Roger Mason Jr., who is a shooting guard.
Shelvin’s ability to knock down jump shots, his work ethic, and ability to defend on the perimeter will get him minutes as a rookie, and hopefully keep him around in our nation’s capital in a Wizards uniform for a long time.
Twitter: @Kevin_Hine and @WizOfAwesKevin