Atlanta Hawks Should Make Shelvin Mack Backup Point Guard Next Season
The Atlanta Hawks will be making some important decisions this summer regarding their roster as they try and rebuild for the future. After being eliminated in the first round of the NBA Playoffs this year, they will likely be parting ways veteran forward Josh Smith and focusing their team around Al Horford and, if they can re-sign him Jeff Teague.
However, the Hawks will need to fill in their roster with complimentary pieces as they have a number of players that are becoming unrestricted free agents. They will need to bring in some guys, but they also have to make a decision about which players they should bring back. One player that they should re-sign that might go under-the-radar is Shelvin Mack.
Mack started his tenure with Hawks by being signed to a 10-day contract. He then signed another 10-day deal before finally being signed for the rest of the season. He appeared in 20 games and played 13.4 minutes per game, averaging 5.2 points, 2.2 assists, 1.2 rebounds, 0.5 steals and just 1.2 turnovers per game on 48.8 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from long range.
As just a second year player in the league, he showed his real value for the Hawks in the six games where he played substantial minutes (20 or more minutes per game). In those contests he averaged 10.8 points, 4.7 assists, 1.8 rebounds and only 2.2 turnovers per game while shooting 25-48 from the floor and 7-20 from long range. He was extremely effective when he got significant time.
Devin Harris performed the duties as the Hawks backup point guard last season and was solid in that role. However, he also becomes an unrestricted free agent and will have a much steeper price tag on him than Mack will this summer. Signing Mack would give the Hawks more financial flexibility to try and make other signings.
Another aspect to consider is the fact that Harris is exiting the prime of his career while Mack is still improving and is just 23 years old. That means allowing Mack the chance to be the backup point guard would be a move that takes upside into consideration. With the other moves that the Hawks will need to make this off-season and with the team switching their focus to a younger core group of players, re-signing Mack to be their backup point guard is the best move that they can make in this situation.