Nearly two months ago and just before the regular season tipped, the point guard light Wizards decided to pass on rising second-year player Shelvin Mack being part of the roster.
Now without a single healthy point guard on the roster, Washington is bringing its 2011 second-round pick back to town as early as Monday, Comcast SportsNet's Chris Miller is reporting. The Wizards return to action on Tuesday against Cleveland.
Mack's expected addition comes after the team released guard Shaun Livingston and center Earl Barron hours after the team's seventh straight loss. Livingston, who at the time of his release stood as the lone remaining healthy point guard, replaced Jannero Pargo on the roster last month. Pargo beat out Mack exiting training camp.
With Mack the Wizards would have 14 players on the roster with one roster spot available. Point guards John Wall and A.J. Price plus forwards Trevor Booker and Trevor Ariza remained sidelined with injuries.
Miller reports the addition of another guard is likely. After Price fractured his hand earlier this month, Jordan Crawford took over as the primary floor leader, but the volume shooter's best role remains as a scorer, not a primary fascilitator. Rookie Bradley Beal is the only other true guard on the roster.
Since his release, Mack played 10 games for the Maine Red Claws in the NBA's D-League, averaging 20.2 points and 7.1 assists. According to the D-League's own site, the former Butler star ranked as the fifth best prospect in the league.
Does all that mean the powerfully built 6-foot-3, 215 pounder has figured out the playmaking thing? Guess we'll see soon enough, but the Wizards clearly didn't think so over the summer and after training camp. Here is a portion of my Las Vegas Summer League recap:
Five games should not be the end all be all of evaluations, but Las Vegas represented Mack's opportunity to show the coaches and management that even if his transition to point guard remained a work in progress, it was working. Not sure anyone can claim that happened. The Wizards offense frequently stagnated or turned into one-on-one ball with the rising second-year guard running the attack. Mack lacks the authoritative presence as a dribbler, passer or scorer when it comes to initiating theattack. Even when he made it past his initial defender and found the lane, issues arose trying to get all the way to the rim or sending a pass to the right spot.
After Mack failed to impress in Las Vegas, the Wizards added Price as Wall's primary backup. When Wall's knee stress injury came about before the start of training camp, Washington signed the 33-year-old Pargo, who played seven games before his release.
As a rookie Mack averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 assists. Though he did not start any of Washington's eight preseason games, Mack stepped up his play as a facilitator, doling out 24 assists compared to only four turnovers.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the Mack signing.