The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Atlanta Hawks guard Shelvin Mack is "security blanket." That is exactly what he was for the Hawks in 2015 as he provided a steady option for Mike Budenholzer to turn to at either guard spot.
That might not have been the role that Mack was looking for coming out of training camp. Mack ended the 2014 season as the backup point guard behind Jeff Teague and inked a three-year, $7.3 million deal to remain in Atlanta. It was the first time that Mack had gone to training camp with a deal in place and a measure of security.
However, the emergence of Dennis Schröder in his second season pushed Mack down the depth chart, but he was still cast in a role that he could be successful in. Mack ended up appearing in 55 games averaging 5.4 points and 2.8 assists per game. He connected on 40 percent of his field goal attempts and knocked down 32 percent of this three-point attempts. His greatest value might be his steadiness and his ability to be a calming influence on the offense. Mack averaged less than a turnover a game in 2015.
As a third point guard, Mack is a luxury. He provides Mike Budenholzer with an outlet to turn to in case of injury or poor play of Teague or Schröder. Mack stays ready, he could go for long stretches without playing and then turn in a good performance when called upon.
As Atlanta's wing depth eventually deteriorated, Mack also saw some time at shooting guard. He is a versatile player but his lack of size and athleticism makes defending opposing shooting guards difficult. However, he is the type of competitor that we have heard Mike Budenholzer talk about so many times. Mack goes to work everyday on his game in an effort to improve. He supports his teammates on an off the floor and is just a good blue collar guy to have around the team.
Mack is currently recovering from off season shoulder surgery, but is expected to be ready around the time training camp opens. Barring some unforeseen roster changes, Mack will again go training camp and attempt to push for playing time behind Teague and Schröder. Competition is a great thing for a team to have as is a solid veteran presence that can be utilized in a bench role.