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Mack positively on point

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Mack positively on point

After all that went on this past offseason, nobody could blame Shelvin Mack if his usual upbeat demeanor turned sour.

By his own admission the rising second-year point guard's summer league experience "didn't go the way I planned."

Days later after that Las Vegas experience, the Wizards decided not to roll the dice with only Mack and John Wall directing the offense and added A.J. Price. Once Washington learned Wall would miss two months with an injury, another veteran, Jannero Pargo, joined the mix. Suddenly Mack's role appeared uncertain, perhaps his roster spot as well.

That's why most would understand if Mack showed up to training camp down and dejected.

One look at the former Butler University star's Twitter account would let you know that's just not his style.

Not the most prolific of tweeters, Mack's timeline is peppered with the simple message "Think positive." His most recent sunny side up tweet went out to his followers the morning of the Wizards final day of practice at George Mason University. Just don't think the 22-year-old is one of those naive types who doesn't grasp the adult world he now occupies.

"It's a business. Have to stay positive. Every year someone's coming in the NBA, someone's going out," Mack said. "Same thing with the Miami Heat. They got some new players this year even though they won the championship last year. You try and get better. They feel like guys coming in are making the team better that's what we need for our team."

Plus, as the Wizards have harshly learned before even opening training camp, injuries do occur, which leads to opportunity for those prepared to grab it.

"Something is going to happen, like John getting hurt," Mack. "We didn't want that to happen, but it did so it provides an opportunity. Just staying positive, you have the best chance to take advantage of the opportunity instead of staying negative. When you're down, you're not ready for the opportunity and it slips by."

One early opportunity came Sunday in Charlotte. With Wall and Pargo sidelined, the point guard responsibilities fell to Mack and Price, who was part of a starting unit that struggled mightily offensively. Playing with the second unit, Mack doled out seven assists. He did so with nary a turnover. The rest of the team coughed the ball up 20 times.

"You can tell hes got a year under him," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "I can see a little more confidence. Definitive running this play, running that play. Thats from being here, I think. Thats a good thing to see."

Mack definitively running this, that or any play was not always the case during the games in Vegas where charitably it could be said his transition from playing off to on the ball remained a work in progress. Not allowing memories of those games to linger, Mack stuck around in Las Vegas where he participated in long time NBA assistant coach Tim Grgurich's skills camp - and where he put himself back on a positive path.

"It helped me out a lot," Mack said. "Summer league didn't go the way I planned. Two weeks later, I had a chance to play against another level of NBA talent at the Grgurich camp. I played well out there. They did a good job of breaking down the point guard position, helped me with the little things. Little pocket passes, just taking care of the ball. I carried it on over to the preseason when we got here in September. I've continued to build on it."

As for where he picked up his half-glass full outlook, Mack says "in college with (Butler) Coach (Brad) Stevens. He comes with a positive attitude every day. It builds, it makes everyone around you happy. If you're thinking positive, the next guy will think positive. If you're like "oh why did I miss that shot", they're going to think the same thing when they have the opportunity."

Considering the Wizards doom and gloom play in recent years, keeping around those who know how to turn frowns upside down might be wise. Considering the Wizards point guard concerns with Wall out of the lineup for the season's opening month, having this decisive version of Shelvin Mack around might not be so bad either.

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2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

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USA Today Sports

2018 NBA Draft: A list of Green Room attendees

The NBA officially announced a list of 20 players invited to the Green Room at the 2018 NBA Draft. Provided that all attend, here's a list of who'll be there.

  • Miles Bridges, Michigan State
  • Mikal Bridges, Villanova
  • Marvin Bagley III, Duke
  • Mohamed Bamba, Texas
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
  • Lonnie Walker IV, Miami
  • Donte DiVincenzo, Villanova
  • Zhaire Smith, Texas Tech
  • Aaron Holiday, UCLA
  • Deandre Ayton, Arizona
  • Wendell Carter Jr., Duke
  • Luka Doncic, Slovenia
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky
  • Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
  • Robert Williams, Texas A&M
  • Trae Young, Oklahoma
  • Chandler Hutchison, Boise State
  • Jerome Robinson, Boston College

There are two players each invited from Villanova, Michigan State, Duke and Kentucky.

The 2018 NBA Draft will be Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will be broadcast on ESPN and streamed live on WatchESPN. The Wizards have Nos. 15 and 44 picks.

MORE WIZARDS COVERAGE

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The 2018 NBA Doomsday Mock Draft: A comical look at every team's worst-case scenario

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USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NBA Doomsday Mock Draft: A comical look at every team's worst-case scenario

The 2018 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, June 21 and once again provides a glimmer of hope for even the most downtrodden franchises.

The NBA Draft is where teams can prepare for the future; where teams can rebuild and reload.

But the NBA Draft is often a crapshoot. Teams waffle on taking the best fit versus the best available player. Teams often panic and rest on laurels of draft years past. Fans like to build draft stereotypes for individual franchises, and while a lot of that is stupid Internet conjecture, it's fun to talk about and is often some actual truth to it.

So what follows is a look at the Doomsday Mock Draft. What your favorite team is likely to do if all else fails, which it often does.

1. Phoenix Suns: A franchise center who spends his first contract working with the Suns' medical staff more than his teammates.

2. Sacramento Kings: Someone who won't be a member of the Kings by the time 2022 rolls around.

3. Atlanta Hawks: Someone that will make Dennis Schroder unhappy.

4. Memphis Grizzlies: A Mike Conley Jr. repair kit.

5. Dallas Mavericks: Not the heir apparent to Dirk Nowitzki.

6. Orlando Magic: A reach that won't pan out.

7. Chicago Bulls: Someone from Iowa State, probably.

8. Cleveland Cavaliers: ANYONE YOU WANT LEBRON JUST PLEASE DON'T LEAVE US AGAIN!!

9. New York Knicks: /inserts .GIF of Spike Lee looking disappointed/

10. Philadelphia 76ers: Another big man because HINKIE 4 LYFE.

11. Charlotte Hornets: A North Carolina Tar Heel.

12. Los Angeles Clippers: A playmate for the head coach's son.

13. Los Angeles Clippers: DeAndre Jordan 2.0.

14. Denver Nuggets: Yet another athletic guard.

15. Washington Wizards: Nope. Not touching this one.

16. Phoenix Suns: Someone to pass Devon Booker the ball.

17. Milwaukee Bucks: Wingspan. Nothing but wingspan.

18. San Antonio Spurs: One of the Space Jam villains who conveniently falls to the Spurs (See: Leonard, Kawhi. Anderson, Kyle. Murray, Dejounte)

19. Atlanta Hawks: Someone to replace Dennis Schroder.

20. Minnesota Timberwolves: Someone who Tom Thibideau can play 60 minutes of a 48-minute game.

21. Utah Jazz: A real glue guy. A gym rat. A high-motor guy. Intangibles. Grit. Moxie. 

22. Chicago Bulls: A two-way player who will ultimately get punched in the face by Bobby Portis.

23. Indiana Pacers: DRAFT ANOTHER UCLA PLAYER. WE DARE YOU.

24. Portland Trail Blazers: DRAFT ANOTHER MID-MAJOR GUARD. WE DARE YOU.

25. Los Angeles Lakers: The subject of Lonzo Ball's next diss track.

26. Philadelphia 76ers: A pallet of knockoff burner phones.

27. Boston Celtics: A draft night trade for more draft picks they probably won't use.

28. Golden State Warriors: An unfairly good player.

29. Brooklyn Nets: An unfairly bad player.

30. Atlanta Hawks: We ran out of Dennis Schroder jokes.

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