By John Denton
July 7, 2017
ORLANDO – Promising to be strategic and opportunistic in adding talent to their team, the Orlando Magic appear to have landed their first player in free agency on Friday night.
Point guard Shelvin Mack, a veteran of six NBA seasons, is finalizing a two-year contract with the Magic, according to an ESPN.com report.
Mack, 28, has spent most of his career as a backup point guard while playing for the Wizards (twice), Hawks (twice), 76ers and Jazz. He will most likely play behind Magic starter Elfrid Payton and serve as either the team’s second or third point guard.
D.J. Augustin, a free-agent signee from July, is still under contract. Veteran point guard C.J. Watson has a partially guaranteed contract and the Magic must make a decision on his fate by Monday.
ESPN.com also reported that Jeff Green – a reserve forward for the Magic last season – agreed to a one-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Green, who signed a one-year deal with the Magic last July, averaged 9.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in 22 minutes a game for the Magic last season.
Mack, a 6-foot-3, 203-pounder from Butler University, has averaged 6.3 points and 2.9 assists a game over his NBA career. Last season, he averaged 7.8 points, 2.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 55 games (nine starts) for Utah. He had the best season of his career in 2015-16, averaging 12.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds – all career highs.
Mack is thought to be a plus defender who makes up for his lack of height with his strength, toughness and high basketball IQ. Offensively, he is a fearless driver who converted 44.6 percent of his field goals last season. However, he struggled shooting from deep, making just 30.8 percent of his 3-point shots. He is a 32.1 percent 3-point shooter in his career.
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