Shelvin Mack

Hornets Claim Shelvin Mack Off Waivers

While the Hornets didn’t make a move at the trade deadline, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium is reporting (via Twitter) that they will be adding more depth by claiming Shelvin Mack off of waivers after the veteran point guard was released by the Hawks.

Before being traded by the Grizzlies and subsequently released by Atlanta, Mack was averaging 7.9 points and 3.4 assists per game in a prominent role for Memphis. Mack appeared in 53 games and played 22.7 minutes per game, the second-highest average of his career.

The Hornets have received quality play at point guard with Tony Parker backing up All-Star Kemba Walker, so it will be interesting to see how much playing time Mack receives down the stretch of the regular season.

Because the Hornets have claimed Mack off of waivers, the Hawks are no longer responsible for the remainder of Mack’s contract, which is now off of their salary cap. Because the veteran point guard was on a minimum salary deal, Charlotte was able to claim him using the minimum salary exception.

Hawks Waive Shelvin Mack

The Hawks have officially requested waivers on Shelvin Mack, the team announced today in a press release. He’ll become a free agent on Sunday, assuming he goes unclaimed.

Mack, 28, had been Memphis’ backup point guard for the 2018/19 season, averaging 7.9 PPG and 3.4 APG in 53 games (22.7 MPG). He has also had one of his best three-point shooting seasons, knocking down 35.9% of his attempts from outside.

The Grizzlies sent Mack to the Hawks in exchange for Tyler Dorsey in a deadline-day trade on Thursday. Considering the deal doesn’t appear to have saved Atlanta any money and no other assets were said to be included, it’s not clear what the Hawks’ motivations were for making the trade.

In any case, Atlanta now has two open roster spots and will have two weeks to fill at least one of them.

Grizzlies, Hawks Swap Shelvin Mack, Tyler Dorsey

9:54pm: The Grizzlies have officially traded Mack to the Hawks in exchange for Dorsey, the team confirmed on Thursday (Twitter link).

1:35pm: The Grizzlies and Hawks are in agreement on a trade that will send point guard Shelvin Mack to Atlanta and shooting guard Tyler Dorsey to Memphis, tweets Michael Wallace of Grizzlies.com.

Mack, 28, has been Memphis’ backup point guard for the 2018/19 season, averaging 7.9 PPG and 3.4 APG in 53 games (22.7 MPG). He has also had one of his best three-point shooting seasons, knocking down 35.9% of his attempts from outside.

However, Mack is expected to be waived by Atlanta, per Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal Constitution (Twitter link). If those are the Hawks’ intentions for Mack, it’s not clear what their motivations are for making the deal.

As for the Grizzlies’ side, sending out Mack for Dorsey allows the retooling squad to replace a veteran with a young prospect who had taken a step backward in Atlanta this season. A second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Dorsey posted 7.2 PPG and a .362 3PT% in his first year, but those numbers have dipped 3.3 PPG and a .256 3PT% in year two, as he has seen his role cut back.

Grizzlies Notes: Leaks, Holiday, PGs, Parsons

After Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that Dillon Brooks would likely miss the remainder of the 2018/19 season due to a toe injury, head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was put on the spot during his usual media availability. As David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal details, Bickerstaff was frustrated by the fact that he was asked about the report on Brooks before the team was able to put out an official update.

“I think the bigger issue [than Brooks’ status] is we need to be concerned with how information is getting out,” Bickerstaff said. “There are things that should remain in-house until, as an organization, we decide to put out a statement with everyone on the same page. I think first and foremost, we need to address that and make sure the people with information are the people who need to have information.”

While the news on Brooks’ injury would have been announced a few hours later anyway, there have been a number of other instances within the last month where leaks impacted the Grizzlies more significantly. The most obvious cases involved the failed three-team trade with the Suns and Wizards, as well as a locker room altercation between Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi.

After word of that Temple/Casspi incident broke, GM Chris Wallace said his team would deal internally with the leak.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • Justin Holiday is off to a slow start with the Grizzlies, averaging 4.0 PPG on 22.2% shooting in his first three games, but he’s excited to be in Memphis after spending most of the first half with the lowly Bulls. “To be right there in the mix, it’s exciting to be here,” Holiday said, per Cobb. “I know we’re struggling right now, but there’s been a lot of changes, a lot of adjustments and sometimes it’s just that time of the year. … Hopefully we can turn it around and do some big things and get back on track.”
  • In another recent article for The Commercial Appeal, Cobb explored whether rookie Jevon Carter will take over for Shelvin Mack as the Grizzlies’ regular backup point guard. Carter appeared poised to claim that role, but struggled on Monday in New Orleans, prompting the club to turn back to Mack on Wednesday vs. San Antonio.
  • Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian took a deep dive into the Chandler Parsons situation in Memphis, exploring whether the Grizzlies should have known better than to give Parsons a big contract in 2016, whether the team has handled recent developments correctly, and what’s next for the forward.

Southwest Notes: Davis, Paul, Parsons, Brooks, Smith

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry believes LeBron James‘ comment that it would be “amazing” to play with Anthony Davis constitutes tampering, William Guillory of The Athletic tweets. An NBA statement on Friday indicated the James’ statement did not rise to the level of tampering. Gentry vehemently disagreed. “It’s tampering,” Gentry said. “Should we have AD say, ‘Why don’t we trade for LeBron?'” Gentry went on further to say, “I thought if you talked about a player under contract, it’s tampering. That’s just me. I’ve only been in the league for 31 years, so what would I know?”

We have more from around the Southwest Division:

  • Rockets All-Star guard Chris Paul has a Grade 2 hamstring strain and will be reevaluated in two weeks, according to a team press release. Paul suffered the injury against Miami on Thursday.
  • The Grizzlies are hopeful that forwards Chandler Parsons and Dillon Brooks will return to action soon, David Cobb of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. Parsons hasn’t played since the third game this season due to knee and back soreness but has ramped up his workouts lately. Brooks, who has not played since November 10th due to a Grade II MCL sprain, should return before the New Year. They could boost an offense that has reached 100 points just once the past 10 games, Cobb adds.
  • On that same topic, Michael Wallace of the team’s website notes that rookie forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and veteran combo guard Shelvin Mack have slumped recently. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff believes confidence is a factor for the team in general. “We can come up with schemes and tricks and all that, but on the offensive end of the floor, we’ve got to take the shots that are available to us,” he said. “We’ve got to believe the shots are going in. Guys are working their tails off, taking their reps. We’ve got to get them those shots, and when they get them, they’ve got to take them and knock them down.”
  • Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. probably won’t play again until after Christmas, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports.  Smith has missed six of the last seven games due to a wrist injury. He’s unlikely to return until after the team’s road trip, which concludes Sunday.  Their next home game is Wednesday against the Pelicans.
  • Davis’ decision whether to sign a Designated Veteran extension with the Pelicans looms as one of this summer’s biggest stories, as Danny Leroux of The Athletic notes. Davis has no financial incentive to wait until potential free agency the following summer, so if he doesn’t sign it, that probably means he wants out of New Orleans, as Leroux details.

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.