Shelvin Mack doesn’t figure to miss a beat upon his reunion with Gordon Hayward.
Mack was traded from the Hawks to the Jazz Thursday at the NBA trade deadline. In Utah, Mack will again be teammates with Heyward. The two led Butler University to the NCAA Championship game in 2010.
“It will be great,” Mack told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday. “I still know all of his moves. I watch a lot of his games and a lot of games with Utah. I understand how they play and the moves he does.”
Mack will also be reunited with Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and assistant coach Jeff Watkinson. Snyder was an assist and Watkinson was the strength and conditioning coach with the Hawks before joining the Jazz. Mack and Snyder traded a few text messages following the deal. He expects to learn more about his role on Friday.
Mack travelled to Salt Lake City Thursday to await his new team. The Jazz played at the Wizards Thursday in a makeup game and host the Celtics Friday night. The Celtics are, coincidentally, coached by Brad Stevens who was at Butler with Mack and Hayward during the championship run.
Mack has played sparingly this season. He has appeared in just 24 games and averaged 3.9 points and 1.6 assists in 7.5 minutes per game. He was behind Teague and Dennis Schroder in the point guard rotation. He is looking forward to a chance to play.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” Mack said. “I feel like I’m a quality NBA player. I’m glad I’m going to have an opportunity to get on the court and show what I’m capable of doing.
“I think they are looking for some experience. I think I bring that. Being in Atlanta, I’ve been to the playoffs the past two years. And also playing some big games last year in the Eastern Conference finals. I got the experience that is going to help those guys by the time it gets to the playoff push.”
Mack was sent to the Jazz in a three-way trade that also included the Bulls. The Hawks received Kirk Hinrich and the Bulls received Justin Holiday. Mack went through practice with the Hawks Thursday before the move was made. He was able to say goodbye to teammates and coaches before leaving.
Mack said he will most miss the off-the-court times with the Hawks.
“It was a good going-away,” he said of the chance to say goodbye. “I talked to all my teammates, all the coaches, before I left. (They said) it was a better opportunity for you to play, that I’ll like the situation and that they are going to give me a chance. It was great. I want to thank Coach (Mike Budenholzer). I had a great time playing for him and learning from him. And my teammates. They all understood the situation.
“Just hanging out with the guys, doing the little silly stuff we do. Playing cards on the plane, going to the Braves stadium to play baseball, playing football. Things we did off the court. You don’t find that with too many NBA teams.”
There will be another reunion in just a few weeks. The Hawks play at the Jazz on March 8.