The seventh installment of the Wiz of Awes Player Profiles brings us to Shelvin Mack.
Mack joined the Wizards as a 2nd round pick this season and served as John Wall’s primary back-up point guard. But what do Ben Mehic and myself have to say about the rookie’s season? Find out below.
When Ernie Grunfeld drafted Shelvin Mack with the 34th overall pick in last year’s draft, I was ecstatic.
He was exactly what the Wizards needed. He’s a winner. He’s tough. He’s smart. He’s overall just a solid basketball player. And after one season in the NBA, I saw what I expected.
Playing behind John Wall as a rookie isn’t a job that lends itself to a lot of minutes, but in his 12.2 minutes per game, Shelvin was typically solid. Nothing spectacular, but solid, and he fits the profile of a long-term back-up point guard.
It can’t be forgotten that Shelvin Mack mostly played off the ball, and not as a point guard, in college at Butler. So coming into the league as a rookie, learning a new position, dealing with the NBA lockout, and not having a whole lot of playing time to work with, were things that Shelvin Mack had to deal with. And all things considered, he did pretty well.
I’m confident in Mack as the Wizards’ long-term back-up point guard, but are Ernie Grunfeld and John Wall?
I tend to think Grunfeld is confident in Shelvin Mack — he is his draft pick after all. However, John Wall earlier this month talked about adding a veteran point guard that he and Mack could both learn from. If Wall gets his wish then it’s possible that Shelvin Mack’s 12.2 minutes per game could be even further reduced, possibly.
But for his rookie year, I’ll give Shelvin a solid C+.
How many college basketball players can say they’ve made appearances in the national title game? Not many. How many can say they’ve made appearances in two national championship games? Nearly none.
Shelvin Mack is one of those players. Coming out of Butler University, Mack was known as a tough leader, with a knack of just playing good all-around basketball. Not much has changed for Mack during his rookie season with the Washington Wizards. With John Wall playing over 36 minutes per game, Mack didn’t have a legitimate chance of proving himself, but when he did get a chance to play, he was rather mediocre. Shelvin Mack played just as advertised. He played like a young veteran on the floor, and wasn’t prone to making rookie mistakes.
He has yet to find his niche the NBA. He lacks a consistent jump shot, and appears to have trouble finishing over bigger defenders. His lack of speed and athleticism certainly didn’t help the Wizards while John Wall was on the bench.
John Wall has made it clear that he needs a veteran point guard on this young Wizards team. Having a rookie back-up point guard didn’t provide enough stability for the Wizards last season. I honestly think Mack can become a decent NBA player. With his contract not being guaranteed for his sophomore year with the Wizards, Mack will probably have to earn his spot on the roster once again.
I’d like to see Mack back with the Wizards, but not at the expense of a more established point guard.
Grade: I’ll give Mack a solid C.