2017-18 statistics: 9.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists per game. 45.8 percent FG%, 41.3 3PT%, 82.9 FT%.
In the summer of 2014, Marvin Williams signed a two year contract with the Charlotte Hornets. This came after he spent two seasons with the Utah Jazz. While his first year with the Hornets wasn’t the best, he made drastic improvements in his contract year. He shot over 40 percent from 3 and turned into one of the Hornets biggest contributors while starting 81 of the 82 games. In 2016, the former North Carolina Tar Heel national champion signed a four-year extension worth over $54 million. Since then, his numbers have been up and down and this was especially the case in the 2017-18 season.
Williams was the third highest paid player last season and will once again be the third highest paid player next season. He had 41 double digit scoring games and ended the season with six double digit point totals in the last eight games. Although he shot a career high percentage from 3 this past season and posted a career best 118 offensive rating, the Hornets starting power forward did not play up to the level of his current contract, overall, scoring at least 20 points once.
Despite that, Williams’ rebounding numbers also regressed. There were only three instances where he had at least 10 rebounds. In addition to that, he didn’t have a game where he recorded five assists or more. For someone who is being paid like an NBA starter, these aren’t great numbers. For reference, two-time All Star Kemba Walker is being paid less than Williams is right now. There will be a lot of zeros on Kemba’s next contract, but I digress.
When Williams re-signed with the Hornets, the fans rightfully expected him to improve his game and the team. However, he’s been inconsistent over his time with Charlotte. Because Frank Kaminsky hasn’t developed into a quality stretch big, Williams will continue to get most of the minutes at power forward.
Even though Williams regressed once again, he is still a key contributor to the Hornets and will have to be until Kaminsky is ready to take over the starting role. He still provides a lot of good things including shooting the 3-ball and providing a lot of hustle. Glue guys are hard to find in the NBA and Williams is just that for this Hornets team. However, he needs to do more for the team so that Charlotte can make a return trip to the NBA playoffs.
Despite his down season, I remain a huge fan of Williams. He is a true professional and leader for this Hornets team. However, he has to play up to the level of his contract. As the third highest player on the team next season, I expect Williams to play a lot better so that the Hornets can return to the postseason in 2019.