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NBA Free Agency 2014: Exploring Marvin Williams’ Fit With Hornets

With the dominoes continuing to fall, Charlotte stealthily picked through the slew of remaining free agents, and filled a need by signing veteran Marvin Williams to 2 year/$14 million dollar deal. While the league-wide reputation surrounding Williams might be negative because of how he was unable to meet lofty expectations after he was selected 2nd overall in the 2005 draft, the 6’8 forward has been able to be find a niche as a solid role player in this league.

During his two-year stint with the Jazz, the 6’8 Williams was able to continue to quietly develop his overall offensive arsenal. While he definitely showed small glimpses during his time with the Hawks, Williams was able to develop into a solid perimeter option. That new talent is clearly showcased by a solid 35% shooting percentage from beyond the arc during the 2013-14 season.

In a strange way, Williams’ continued improvement and subsequent reliance on his perimeter jumper has negatively impacted the rest of his offense. During his time in Atlanta, Williams heavily relied on a combination of quickness and overall athleticism to become a dangerous offensive penetrator. Per 36 minutes, Williams averaged around 4.4 free throw attempts during his seven year stint with the Hawks. Even though it isn’t that impressive, that version of Williams looks like the 2nd coming of James Harden compared to the current iteration. An iteration that has strangely seen his True Shooting Percentage (TS%) continue to drop despite his improvement from the perimeter.

With Williams embarking on this transition to the Eastern Conference and the Charlotte Hornets, it will be interesting to see how Clifford inserts him into the offensive rotation. While his perimeter skills are definitely going to make a positive impact on Charlotte, his overall offensive approach is going to be put in question because of how inconsistent he was in Utah. Despite the fact that he might not be the same athlete that he was during his time with Atlanta, he’s still capable of being able to cut to the basket on a consistent basis.

On the defensive end, Williams’ potential stock with the Hornets becomes a lot more of a question mark. Even though the 6’8 forward does show glimpses of being a solid defender, Williams does struggle to consistently stay ahead of the opposition. Per Synergy Sports, opponents averaged 1 PPP (Points Per Possession) against Williams, which is well above league average.


His defensive and offensive consistency issues aside, Williams adds depth to the Hornets lineup. Standing at 6’8, Williams has ability to play and defend multiple positions. While he’s not the best defender in the world, Coach Clifford should be able to find a solid fit in Charlotte’s rotation for Marvin Williams.

His value may not exceed his hefty 2 year/$14 million dollar price tag, but his perimeter ability and potential as a utility forward could turn Marvin Williams into a valuable rotation player for Charlotte.