Marvin Williams is the quintessential role player. He doesn’t do anything especially well, and he doesn’t do anything especially poorly. He’s low maintenance- he can play any number of minutes and attempt any number of shots and it won’t affect his approach. He fills in the gaps where the team is lacking. He can fit on any team.
He was an unheralded key contributor for the Charlotte Hornets in 2018-19. While much was made of Kemba Walker’s fantastic season, Nicolas Batum’s tanking performance on a massive contract, and Kemba and the Avengers’ late push for a playoff berth, Marvin Williams stayed in the background quietly doing his part to help keep the team afloat.
His box score numbers don’t jump out. He averaged 10.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game, right in line with what he’s done since he arrived in Charlotte back in 2014. His 3-point shooting took a slight dip, but it was still a respectable 36.6% on the highest volume of his career. He had a couple big games, but for the most part he chipped in a consistent eight to twelve points per outing.
Despite the underwhelming stats, Williams made the Hornets better. The team was +1.9 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court than when he sat, and he and Jeremy Lamb were the only players on the roster to have a positive Real Plus-Minus on both offense and defense.
Marvin Williams future in Charlotte is uncertain. He recently opted into the final year of his contract, making him a free agent in 2020. The Hornets are in a major cap crunch, and a new Kemba Walker contract will push the team into luxury tax territory. Williams is among a handful of Hornets who may be offloaded to counterbalance the financial ramifications of new contracts for Walker (and maybe Jeremy Lamb and/or Frank Kaminsky).