This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
He began the season buried on Atlanta's bench behind Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder. He came to the Utah Jazz and immediately claimed the starting point guard position.
Now, heading into next season, Shelvin Mack faces the possibility of going back to the bench, with the return of Dante Exum.
With Mack, who was acquired at the all-star break, the Jazz finished the season unevenly. They won games, and they competed for a playoff berth. But ultimately, the team stumbled, lost four of five games down the stretch and missed the postseason.
So now the hard part comes for Mack. He'll work on his game over the summer, like always, but will do so not knowing what his role will be next season.
"It's not something that I've thought that much about," Mack said on Thursday, after his exit interview with the Jazz front office. "I know that Dante's a great player and the organization has a lot invested in him. I'm ready to compete, but I have to control the things I can control. I want to put myself in the best position I can be to help the team win."
The Jazz hold a team-option on Mack for next season, which they are expected to pick up, especially since Mack played well, for the most part, in a Jazz uniform. General manager Dennis Lindsey and coach Quin Snyder both said they were happy with Mack, and what he provided during his first two months in Utah.
Mack played 28 games for the Jazz and started 27 of them. He averaged 12.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game, lending stability to a point guard position that was thrown into flux when Exum tore his ACL last summer during an international game.
He provided the Jazz with a bigger body at the point, one who could get into the lane and finish offensively and who could play the switching style of defense Snyder prefers.
Mack wasn't perfect. He turned the ball over three times per game with the Jazz. He shot 44 percent from the field and he missed a few key free-throws down the stretch. But he proved to be more than competent at the position. He was a good rebounder for a guard, and looks like he'll provide the Jazz with a top-notch backup at the very least.
"We thought we did really well in trading for Shelvin," Lindsey said.
Mack has been living out of a suitcase at the Grand America hotel since the trade, although he plans on looking for something permanent this summer. He said he wants to work on his ballhandling and his shooting, and the type of shooting that he does.
"I want to perfect my spot-up jumpers," Mack said. "In Atlanta, the point guards pretty much run the pick-and-roll. In Utah, I'm in the corner a lot more, because Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward handle the ball so much. So I have to become much more of a spot-up shooter than I have been in the past."
Shelvin Mack update
• Mack was acquired on trade deadline day by the Jazz for a second round selection. He started 27 of the 28 games he played.
• In those 28 games, Mack more than tripled his statistics with Atlanta, where he was the No. 3 point guard.
• Before coming to Utah, Mack had started just 12 games in his entire career