The name Marvin Williams probably isn't going to make a splash in the headlines this summer. If anything, you're probably asking yourself, "Wait, Marvin Williams is still in the NBA?" Yes, he is and he's a free agent this summer. And he's one that shouldn't be ignored. After the numbers he put up this season, he'll likely be on the radar of a number of teams. One of those teams should be the Dallas Mavericks.
This season with the Charlotte Hornets, Williams averaged 11.7 points per game on 45.2 percent shooting. From behind the arc he connected on 40.2 percent of his attempts. He also pulled down 6.4 rebounds, dished 1.4 assists, and averaged one block. The 10-year veteran isn't going to fill up the box score with eye-popping numbers but his averages are certainly nothing to scoff at.
As a stretch four, Williams took just over 50 percent of his shots from behind the arc. That opens up the floor quite a bit. However, he's no slouch in the post either. Williams scored the second most points per possession, 1.16, per NBA.com/stats. Only Kevin Durant scored more. Though Williams didn't post up a lot, just 38 possessions, he has shown the ability to be extremely effective, especially against smaller defenders. These numbers might not translate given more opportunities but as a sample size they are positive.
Something else worth noting is Williams' durability. He played in 81 games for the Hornets this season. Prior to that, in his first season with Charlotte, he appeared in 73 games.
Fit with the Mavericks
After starting 81 games with the Hornets, Williams would likely have to accept a bench role if he came to Dallas. He spent most of the last two seasons playing power forward while also spending some time at small forward. The Mavs have those positions covered. Well, they will if they re-sign both Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons. At this point, I think that's as close to a guarantee as can be.
However, Williams could thrive in a bench role for the Mavs. With Charlie Villanueva a free agent, Williams can easily slide into the stretch four vacancy left by Charlie V. Oh, and Williams would be a MASSIVE improvement over Villanueva who shot 27.3 percent from downtown this season.
Beyond being a significant upgrade over a deep bench player, Williams could be the primary backup for Dirk. At 6'9", Williams gives up some height as a Dirk replacement but that shouldn't matter. He can still space the floor. Imagine a lineup with him, Chandler Parsons, and Wesley Matthews or Justin Anderson. If the Mavs want to trend towards versatility and speed as the league moves toward the Warriors' model, then this is certainly a move in the right direction.
And back to Williams' durability, with wing depth an issue for the Mavs this season, they need players that can stay healthy. That's not to say he will. Anything can happen. But he does have a positive track record.
I think that the Mavericks will take a long look at Williams this summer. On the surface he's exactly the type of wing role player that the team was lacking off the bench this season. Further, he's not going to demand a max contract like Parsons likely will. Williams made just $7 million in Charlotte this season. He'll likely get more in this next deal since the salary cap going up but his contract should be extremely reasonable.
Williams is a capable scorer and decent defender. With his size and versatility he could greatly improve the Mavs' bench. The only question is whether he'd be willing to accept a role that primarily involves him coming off the bench. If he's comfortable with that then Dallas should pounce on him in free agency. Combo forwards are too important to pass up. That's why the team experimented with Parsons at the four this season.
Simply put, Williams makes sense for the Mavs and they should think twice before passing him over to chase bigger names.