Shelvin Mack

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Southwest Division

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we turn our attention to the Southwest Division:

Wesley Matthews, Mavericks, 32,  SG (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $70MM deal in 2015
Matthews got off to a strong start, reaching the 20-point mark in six of the first 10 games. An injury set him back as a mild hamstring strain kept him out of four games. He’s shot 33% from 3-point range in the last two games since returning to action. There’s always a market for players who can make the long ball but at his age, Matthews is probably looking at a short-term deal in his next contract and might have to settle for a second-unit role.

Marquese Chriss, Rockets, 21, PF, (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $9.2MM deal in 2016
Chriss received a fresh start when the Suns traded him to a contender. So far, Chriss has failed to take advantage of the situation, even after the club decided to part ways with Carmelo Anthony. Chriss has only appeared in seven games and hasn’t played more than eight minutes in any of them. It’s hard to believe he was chosen with the No. 8 overall pick in 2016. Chriss is still younger than many college players, so he’ll get another chance somewhere else, but he’ll have to settle for a modest contract.

Shelvin Mack, Grizzlies, 28, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2018
The Grizzlies brought in Mack on a veteran’s minimum deal to back up Mike Conley. Mack has been a steady presence in the rotation, averaging 9.9 PPG and 3.6 APG while keeping his turnovers down (1.3 per game). He’s also shot it well from long range (41.8%). Mack isn’t flashy but he’s a competent second-unit floor leader and he might get more than one year on the open market next summer.

Nikola Mirotic, Pelicans, 27, PF (Up) — Signed to a two-year, $15MM deal in 2017
Mirotic made national headlines last season when Bulls teammate Bobby Portis slugged him during a practice dispute. Far removed from that incident, Mirotic is enjoying a career year with the Pelicans. He’s averaging 19.2 PPG and 10.5 RPG in 31.6 MPG. His 3-point percentage is down from last season but is still a solid 37%. Mirotic should receive plenty of attention on the open market as a stretch four who can also pound the glass.

Rudy Gay, Spurs, 32 (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $10MM deal in 2018
Gay had an ugly outing against Minnesota on Wednesday (three points in 19 minutes) but otherwise he’s been quite efficient this season. He’s shooting 49.2% from the field and 46.7% outside the arc and has also been a factor on the boards (7.1 per game). Gay has been thrust into a starting role with the injury-riddled Spurs but he’ll probably be looked upon as a second-unit contributor when he returns to the open market. He’s showing he still has something left in the tank.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Southwest Notes: Carmelo, Rockets, Ding, Mack

Heading into the 2018/19 season, Carmelo Anthony – who has resisted accepting a bench role in the past – told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he’s ready to make that adjustment for his new team. However, in his first game in a reserve role for the Rockets, Anthony scored just nine points in 27 minutes on 3-of-10 shooting. After the loss, the veteran forward admitted that there would be a “learning curve” for his new role, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com relays.

“It’s challenging mentally more so than anything, having to prepare for the game differently,” Anthony said. “Other than that, it’s a challenge all the way around. It’s just a matter of how I’m going to react to that challenge and accepting that challenge, which I am, which I will do.”

As Anthony gets used to playing on the second unit in Houston, let’s round up a few more notes from around the Southwest…

  • The Rockets have promoted front office executive Monte McNair, changing his title from vice president of basketball operations to assistant GM, the team announced in a press release.
  • The Mavericks signed and waived camp invitee Ding Yanyuhang twice before the regular season began. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks confirms to Hoops Rumors, Ding’s first Exhibit 10 contract with Dallas only included a $5K bonus, whereas the second deal bumped that bonus to the maximum allowable $50K. Ding will earn that money if he spends at least two months with the Texas Legends, the Mavs’ G League affiliate.
  • When DeMarcus Cousins went down with his Achilles tear last season, it was something of a turning point for Anthony Davis, who recognized that he had to take his game to another level and carry the Pelicans. Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com has the story, along with the quotes from Davis and head coach Alvin Gentry.
  • The Grizzlies‘ signing of Shelvin Mack was something of an afterthought in an offseason that also included the acquisitions of Jaren Jackson Jr., Kyle Anderson, and Garrett Temple, However, Mack opens the season as Mike Conley‘s primary backup at point guard, as Jason Munz of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details.

Grizzlies’ Bickerstaff Talks Upcoming Season

Earlier this week, the Memphis Business Council hosted an event known as the “The Game Plan of Memphis Basketball.” A special guest of the event was Grizzlies head coach J.B. Bickerstaff. And as Mark Giannotto of The Commercial Appeal relays, there were plenty of questions to be answered by the Grizzlies’ head man, as noted below.

What is the team’s strength this season?

“IQ and intelligence… We got a bunch of guys that know how to think the game and if you can think the game, you can make up for some of the things that we lack. If you look at our team, and I hope this doesn’t offend any of our guys, we’re not the fastest of teams. But we have to be able to use our brains to put us in spots so that we can defend well and score the ball because we’re always one or two steps ahead of our opponent.”

What were the highlights of the team’s offseason?

“We’re going to be a completely different team than you guys saw at the end of last season. Our front office and ownership group have done a great job bringing in different players with different skill sets that kind of fit the theme and the direction that we’re heading in. We’re not as young as we used to be. We’ve brought in some proven, veteran guys like Kyle Anderson, Garrett Temple, Shelvin Mack, those type of guys, who can accentuate what Marc (Gasol) can do.”

How will the team look on the court?

“We’ve been preaching playing a unique style of basketball. Obviously, not reinventing the wheel but playing a game where size, physicality and toughness prevails. I think we’re fortunate that we have some big guys, some long guys, that are very skilled as well, so that they can do both… So we’re fortunate to have guys that can do those things, so that’s where we’re headed. Our guys are excited about it in the conversations we’ve had with them and I think we’re built for it.”

What is Kyle Anderson‘s role?

“He’ll be used at his strengths, which is versatility. He can play multiple positions. He can impact the game on both sides of the floor. I’ve been impressed, just going back and watching him and seeing him, is just how smart he is and how easily he thinks the game. Very rarely do you find him in the wrong spot, offensively or defensively, and he’s always doing something to help his teammates. I think guys like that are invaluable and his ability to play one through four, you can throw him on the floor at any position.”

Will Mike Conley be healthy for training camp?

“There’s no doubt about it. Mike’s been playing pick up, those types of things. Chandler (Parsons has) been playing pick up … For the first time in a long time, we’re looking at walking into training camp with healthy bodies and healthy, high caliber players. Not just guys who would be your 13th or 14th man. We’ve got our studs healthy, which we’re looking forward to.”

What are your hopes for Chandler Parsons?

“Just that he plays games. I think the hardest thing for him is battling with the injuries, and being in and being out, and then trying to catch a rhythm. The more games he plays, he’s proven, even last year in a short amount of time, when he played games in a row, he proved that he could be an effective player and he’s a talented basketball player. We just got to make sure he’s on the floor.”

Why will the bench be better this season?

“The key in all of this is having some experience when you’re trying to win like we’re trying to do. So having guys that have proven they can play in this league, they’re not second guessing themselves, and every single night, from a coaching standpoint, you know what you’re going to get out of guys, is huge… Not to take anything away from our young guys that were here with us last year, they were competing. They were giving it everything they had. They worked hard at it. But again, when you’re young, there’s always those ups and downs and you’re battling that inconsistency.”

Grizzlies Sign Shelvin Mack

3:38pm: The Grizzlies have officially signed Mack, the team announced today in a press release.

1:58pm: The Grizzlies will sign free agent point guard Shelvin Mack to a one-year contract, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Wojnarowski first reported about two and a half weeks ago that the two sides were discussing a one-year deal.

Mack, who inked a two-year contract with Orlando in 2017, appeared in 69 games for the Magic last season, averaging 6.9 PPG, 3.9 APG, and 2.4 RPG in a backup point guard role. His salary for 2018/19 only included a small partial guarantee though, so the Magic waived him last month before they were on the hook for the full amount.

By signing Mack, the Grizzlies will add some veteran stability to their point guard depth chart behind Mike Conley, who is coming off a major foot injury. Andrew Harrison and Jevon Carter are Memphis’ other point guards, with Kobi Simmons also in the mix on a two-way deal.

Memphis doesn’t have its bi-annual exception available this season and already used its full mid-level exception on Kyle Anderson, so Mack will receive a minimum-salary deal, which will keep the Grizzlies’ team salary just below the tax line.

Assuming Mack’s contract is guaranteed, it’ll be the 15th guaranteed deal on the team’s books, plus Harrison’s non-guaranteed salary. The Grizzlies will have to trade or release at least one player before the regular season begins, with Harrison and Dakari Johnson among those most at risk.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Shelvin Mack, Grizzlies Discussing One-Year Deal

The Grizzlies and free agent point guard Shelvin Mack are progressing in talks on a potential one-year contract, league sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

While Wojnarowski doesn’t provide any specifics on what such a deal would be worth, the Grizzlies used their full mid-level exception to sign Kyle Anderson and don’t have their bi-annual exception, having used it last year to sign Tyreke Evans. That leaves a minimum-salary contract as the only deal Memphis can offer.

Mack, who inked a two-year contract with Orlando in 2017, appeared in 69 games for the Magic last season, averaging 6.9 PPG, 3.9 APG, and 2.4 RPG in a backup point guard role. His salary for 2018/19 only included a small partial guarantee, so the Magic waived him last month before they were on the hook for the full amount.

If Mack completes a deal with the Grizzlies, he’d help provide some stability at point guard behind Mike Conley. Andrew Harrison, Jevon Carter, Kobi Simmons, and Garrett Temple are the other candidates to back up Conley, but Harrison, Carter, and Simmons don’t have much NBA experience, and Temple may be a better fit on the wing.

A deal with Mack may jeopardize Harrison’s spot on the roster. The Grizzlies currently have 15 players under contract, with Harrison representing the only non-guaranteed salary on their books.

Hornets Notes: Monk, FA Targets, Coaching Staff

A disappointing 2017/18 put the Hornets in an awkward position, staffed with enough talent to compete for one of the East’s final playoff spots, yet financially compelled to blow things up and start fresh. This season stands to be different. In a recent interview with Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, newly appointed head coach James Borrego discusses his vision for the club heading forward.

The biggest change heading into 2018/19 is Borrego’s willingness to incorporate 2017 pick Malik Monk heavily in the team’s rotation. Whereas previous head coach Steve Clifford opted to play veterans over youth, Borrego sees Monk as “major player for the team” with the potential to be an elite shooter.

Borrego also notes that it’s a priority of the Hornets to add a ballhandler that can serve as the primary backup point guard to Kemba Walker.

There’s more out of Charlotte tonight:

Magic Waive Shelvin Mack

The Magic are waiving veteran point guard Shelvin Mack before his salary becomes fully guaranteed for 2018/19, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The team has confirmed the move in a press release.

Mack, who inked a two-year, $12MM with Orlando during the 2017 offseason, appeared in 69 games for the Magic, averaging 6.9 PPG, 3.9 APG, and 2.4 RPG as a backup to Elfrid Payton and D.J. Augustin.

Mack’s modest production and his non-guaranteed contract made him a candidate to be cut this offseason. His $6MM salary for 2018/19 is reportedly partially guaranteed for just $1MM, so the Magic will have the option of keeping that full $1MM charge on their cap for next season or stretching it across three years.

According to Basketball Insiders’ data, Mack’s contract called for his 2018/19 salary to become guaranteed if he remained under contract for more than four days after the 2018 NBA draft, which is why Orlando is making its decision now. Assuming Mack clears waivers, as expected, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent and will be able to sign anywhere.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Crawford, Mack

The Hornets have taken significant steps forward this offseason but one of the big questions heading into the 2017/18 campaign will be whether wings Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nicolas Batum will be able to thrive together.

In a recent mailbag, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tackled the question arguing that the lanky pair help the squad more than hinder them. Bonnell refers to the Hornets’ defensive woes as the major culprit for Charlotte’s disappointing 2016/17 campaign, saying that taking Kidd-Gilchrist out of the picture would only make matters worse.

Bonnell does add, however, that the Hornets would be wise to feature rookie Malik Monk as soon as he’s able to prove that he’s reasonably competent on the defensive end. If he slots in at the two, Batum could then slide up to the three.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks acquired Jamal Crawford in the three-way deal that sent Danilo Gallinari to the Clippers and immediately began pursuing a buyout with the 36-year-old veteran. Exact details of the buyout are not yet known but Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the guard’s cap hit will be around $11MM in 2017/18.
  • There’s no disputing Shelvin Mack‘s track record of success, he suited up for the 60-win Hawks of 2014/15 and served a valuable role for the 2016/17 Jazz squad that climbed back to relevance. According to John Denton of Orlando’s official website, the former Butler Bulldog thinks that even the Magic can be winners in the immediate future.
  • After a breakout 2013/14 campaign in which he filled in admirably for an injured Kobe Bryant, Jodie Meeks has posted three forgettable, injury-plagued seasons. Now a member of the Wizards, the soon-to-be 30-year-old is ready to reset and start anew. “I came back from my thumb at the end of the season,” he told Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I played okay and finished out the season healthy. This summer I got some rest. Now I’m working out again and I feel fine.
  • After riding the pine for the Wizards in 2016/17, Sheldon Mac and Daniel Ochefu have taken noticeable steps forward, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes.

Contract Details: Teodosic, Curry, Durant, Harden

Milos Teodosic‘s new contract with the Clippers is worth $6MM in year one and $6.3MM in year two, with the team using a chunk of its mid-level exception to complete the signing, per Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). As Pincus explains, however, the deal isn’t quite that simple. It also features a 15% trade kicker, a partial guarantee of $2MM in year one, a partial guarantee of $2.1MM in year two, and a second-year player option (Twitter links).

What does that mean in practical terms? Well, Teodosic’s first-year salary will become guaranteed in a matter of days. It only features a partial guarantee initially so that a partial guarantee could be included on the second year as well. That second year will now function as a mutual option of sorts — if Teodosic picks up his option, the Clippers would still have a window to waive him and only be on the hook for a third of his salary ($2.1MM of $6.3MM).

Here are more details on new contracts from around the NBA, with all information via Pincus:

Western Conference:

  • The new super-max contract signed by Stephen Curry (Warriors) includes a 15% trade kicker and has no options (Twitter link). Kevin Durant‘s two-year deal with the Warriors also features a 15% trade kicker, though he’s even less likely than Curry to be dealt (Twitter link).
  • As for James Harden‘s super-max extension with the Rockets, the final year of that deal (2022/23) is a player option (Twitter link).
  • The Rockets signed undrafted rookie Cameron Oliver to a two-year, minimum salary contract that includes $300K in guaranteed money (Twitter link).
  • George Hill‘s deal with the Kings is frontloaded, with a $20MM cap hit in year one and $19MM in year two. Hill’s third-year salary of $18MM is only guaranteed for $1MM (Twitter link).

Eastern Conference:

  • J.J. Redick would earn an even larger salary on his one-year contract with the Sixers if he’s traded this season. The $23MM pact includes a 15% trade kicker (Twitter link).
  • The Magic signed Shelvin Mack to a two-year contract worth an even $6MM annually, but only $1MM is guaranteed in year two (Twitter link).
  • Undrafted free agent Alfonzo McKinnie signed a two-year, minimum salary contract with the Raptors that features a $100K guarantee (Twitter link).

Shelvin Mack Signs Two-Year Deal With Magic

JULY 9, 12:22: The deal is official, according to a tweet from the Magic.

JULY 7, 6:51pm: The Magic are finalizing a deal with free agent guard Shelvin Mack, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets. The two-year pact is said to be worth $12MM, at an even $6MM per year (according to Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune).

In 55 games for the Jazz last season, Mack posted 7.8 points per game, a far cry from the 12.7 he put up in ten extra minutes the year prior.

Over the course of a six-year career, Mack has established himself as a solid backup guard capable of playing both the one and the two. In Orlando he’ll fit in well behind Elfrid Payton, perhaps sharing spot starter duties with D.J. Augustin.

The move could signal that C.J. Watson, the team’s other point guard option, could be waived in the coming days. Watson’s deal isn’t guaranteed for 2017/18 if Orlando waives him prior to July 10, as is laid out in our official NBA Salary Guarantee Dates list.