Marvin Williams to Hornets: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2014

AP Images

Marvin Williams' third city in his last four seasons will be Charlotte. The Hornets and Williams came to an agreement on a two-year, $14 million contract on Saturday, as Charlotte continues to try and fortify its bench for next season.

Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears had the news:

Williams, 28, spent his last two seasons with the Utah Jazz. The former No. 2 overall pick averaged 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 2013-14, largely working as a stretch power forward as Utah struggled to find a consistent frontcourt rotation.

David Aldridge of reported that the Spurs, Heat, Wizards, Hornets, Clippers, Magic and Suns all reached out to Williams' representatives since the beginning of free agency.

Although most teams were waiting until the Carmelo Anthony and Miami Big Three situations got sorted out, Williams was able to garner considerable interest because of his relatively low market price and value as a swing forward. 

Odds are he will probably slide back to his more natural 3 spot with the Hornets, though he can still work as a 4 in small-ball lineups. His length and solid frame make him a solid enough stretch 4 in certain rotations, and last season, Williams flashed some previously unseen three-point range. He hit 35.9 percent of his threes on a career-high 234 attempts, which isn't a great number but is good enough to make defenses respect his shot.

Mar 10, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz power forward Marvin Williams (2) shoots a jump shot against the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter at EnergySolutions Arena. The Atlanta Hawks won the game 112-110. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA

Of course, Williams has been something of an enigma since entering the NBA.

Drafted ahead of Chris Paul, Deron Williams and a few other notable names in the solid 2005 class, Williams' unwillingness to show aggression has dogged his game and limited his ceiling. His number of free-throw attempts has dropped each of the last six seasons, diving to barely over one per game in 2013-14.

It's become apparent that Williams will never become what many thought he could. Charlotte is banking on his late-career transition to a spot-up shooter who rebounds and gives solid effort on both ends being a sign of the future. If Williams can keep improving from beyond the arc while still giving effort on the defensive boards, then he's going to be a valuable bench piece.

Defensively, he performed well against the pick-and-roll last season, finishing in the 69th percentile league wide in points per possession, according to Synergy Sports (subscription required).

Mar 31, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Marvin Williams (2) defends against New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the first half at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Getting commitment has long been the issue. Williams has a propensity to space out, and he still spaces out way too much when defending shooters for someone nearly a decade into his NBA career. Opposing players also shot an excellent 45.6 percent against him in isolation.

The Hornets are not making an infallible signing here. Williams needs to get better in areas to help a good team. The difference between him being a key role player and borderline unusable is a few percentage points on that jumper. Should he regress to his career mean, this signing is going to become a problem.

The opposite is true if the range was part of a longer-term improvement. Williams has been eerily consistent in his commitment to being a replacement-level player in the pros. A redefined role in which he can shoot a bit and rebound at an above-average rate for a small forward gives him a chance to find a real niche.

Charlotte will have to hope that's what happens.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.