Draft prospect: Shelvin Mack

The Spurs own the 29th pick in Thursday’s draft, one of the lowest slots of the Tim Duncan era. This year’s draft pool is considered to be uncommonly shallow, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spurs either deal the pick or select a future prospect to stash overseas. Over the coming days, the Courtside blog will profile selected players who could be wearing silver and black, should the Spurs elect to keep their pick.

Three summers ago, the Spurs took a combo guard from a mid-major Indianapolis college with the 26th overall pick. Based on his production, and the spot at which he was taken, George Hill has worked out pretty well for them.

In many ways, Butler’s Shelvin Mack comes with the same kind of resume Hill did in the summer of 2008. He’s 6-foot-3 combo guard from a mid-major school in Indianapolis.

Thanks to Butler’s appearance in two consecutive NCAA national title games, however, Mack comes with a bit more name recognition than Hill did coming out of  IUPUI.

Much like Hill before him, Mack has a nice build for an NBA point guard, but a game better suited to playing off the ball. He averaged 16 points for the Bulldogs as a junior last season, second to Matt Howard, along with 3.4 assists, but saw his shooting percentage dip to 40.8 percent.

Mack showed improvement in running the pick-and-roll game last season, which ought to boost his stock in the eyes of the Spurs, whose offense is famously pick-and-roll heavy.

The biggest thing that might keep the Spurs away from Mack at the tail end of the first round is what happened three summers ago. In Hill, the Spurs already have a 6-foot-3 combo guard from Indianapolis.

However, the Spurs do have a need for a third point guard behind Tony Parker and Hill, and if Parker at some point winds up on the trading block — as even Parker himself as speculated this summer — that need would only increase.

If Mack is still available at 29 — and he’s been projected to go anywhere from late first round to early second — the Spurs might take a look at him.

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