SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz have acquired point guard Shelvin Mack from Atlanta in a three-team deal including the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. The Bulls received a second-round pick from the Jazz and guard Justin Holliday from the Hawks. Atlanta receives guard Kirk Hinrich from the Bulls.
"We’re going to need all hands on deck these last 30 games to finish out how we want to finish out," Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said. "There’s going to be a bunch of back-to-backs and guys are going to be tired. Hopefully we can avoid illness or injury, but we have to anticipate there might be something we don’t anticipate."
Mack averaged 3.9 points, 1.6 assists and 7.5 minutes in 24 games this season. The 25-year-old is shooting 42.1 per cent from the field and a career-low 14.8 per cent from 3-point range in his fifth season. He’s under contract through the 2016-17 season with the final year not guaranteed, according to Basketball-Reference.com.
Hinrich has averaged 3.8 points and shot 41.1 per cent from 3-point range in 35 games this season. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Holiday has averaged 2.4 points and shot 32.9 per cent from the field in 26 games this season and has one more additional year on his contract.
The Jazz had cap room and an open roster spot. Coach Quin Snyder was familiar with Mack, being around the guard as an assistant with the Hawks during the 2013-14 season. The Jazz run a similar system as the Jazz, so Lindsey said Mack’s familiarity with "scheme, tactics and systems and verbiage" should help him quickly acclimate.
The Jazz also like the versatility in a 6-foot-3, 210-pound guard that can play either backcourt position. Lindsey noted that most teams in the league carry three healthy point guards, so Mack filled a need.
"I think there’s value to having some continuity," Snyder said. "Obviously we’re different than Atlanta, we’re different personnel, I think philosophically we want to do some of the same things and some of the same emphasis. And he’s had exposure to that, which I think helps his transition to us.
"He’s an intelligent player that knows what to do on the court. That’s important. For him to be effective and help us, he’s got to find a role within our group, and I think he’s capable of doing that."
The Jazz have been in the market for point guard depth since Dante Exum tore his ACL during the summer. Rookie Raul Neto has been the starter with 2013 first-round pick Trey Burke as the only other point guard on the roster.
The trade for Mack reunites him with former Butler teammate Gordon Hayward. The two were both on the 2010 NCAA Tournament team that lost to Duke in the title game.