Shelvin Mack returning to Wizards

December 23, 2012

Return of the Mack! (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

The Wizards have decided to address their back court problems by signing a point guard who was cut last October for not being experienced enough to handle the duties of running a team.

Shelvin Mack is returning to the organization that drafted him 34th overall out of Butler in 2011 and waived him before the start of his second season in order to go with more seasoned veteran, Jannero Pargo.

Mack is expected to sign a non-guaranteed contract before the Wizards return to practice on Tuesday, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

Pargo was cut roughly two weeks into the season so that the Wizards could sign Shaun Livingston. Livingston was waived late Saturday night after the Wizards lost, 96-87, to the Detroit Pistons. Now Mack will replace the point guard who replaced the point guard who took his roster spot.

John Wall remains out indefinitely as he recovers from a stress injury in his left knee and A.J. Price, the opening night starter at point guard, has been out since Dec. 8, when he broke his hand while battling for a rebound with Golden State rookie Harrison Barnes. The Wizards (3-22) have lost seven in a row and the offense has sputtered with shooting guard Jordan Crawford handling the reins.

Mack won’t have too much trouble adjusting since he is already familiar with Coach Randy Wittman’s system and was one of the more well-liked players on the team. He averaged 3.6 points and 2.0 assists while serving as Wall’s primary backup last season in Washington, but he struggled to handle point guard responsibilities during summer league, which led the Wizards to sign Price.

Showing some slight improvement during the preseason, Mack averaging 4.1 points and 2.8 assists in eight games, but the Wizards felt that Pargo’s experience and shooting ability would be more beneficial to the team.

Mack became a more attractive alternative to Livingston after averaging 20.2 points, 7.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 10 games for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Developmental League. He was recently named D-League player of the week earlier this month.

Yahoo! Sports was first to report the move.

The Wizards have 14 players under contract after also releasing Earl Barron. Barron benefited from the numbers game and made the team because Nene was injured, but now he has fallen victim to it with the team needing more depth at point guard. The plan, according to sources, is for the Wizards to add another guard from the Development League as the team waits for Price to heal and for Wall to make his season debut.

ESPN.com is reporting that the Wizards will add journeyman Garrett Temple, who is averaging 14.7 points and 5.8 assists for the Erie Bayhawks.

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.
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