Marvin Williams has played fourteen seasons in the NBA, the last six of them with the Charlotte Hornets. In that time, he’s established himself as a steadying force on the court and a leader off it. Those aspects of Williams’ personality will be accentuated as the Hornets transition into a new era. Long time captain Kemba Walker is gone, and gone with him are any realistic playoff aspirations. The 2019-20 season will be about youth and development. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a large role for Williams in the cards.
Marvin Williams is still very good at what he does. There’s nothing flashy about his game. He won’t generate his own offense and he won’t wow you with many highlights, but every team needs a Marvin Williams. He’s the quintessential three-and-d player that the NBA covets right now—a knockdown outside shooter that doesn’t care about his numbers and will do the dirty work on defense. He’s converted 37.8% of his 3-point attempts since coming to Charlotte and has been an above average defender every season. Last season, he was one of just two Hornets to post a positive real plus-minus on both offense and defense (the other being Jeremy Lamb).
The Hornets need that reliability this season. Most of the roster is unknown. We don’t know what Terry Rozier will be as a full time starter. We don’t know how Miles Bridges, Dwayne Bacon, Malik Monk, or Devonte’ Graham will develop. We do know that Marvin Williams will give us 10 points and 5 rebounds per night while hitting a couple bouncy threes.
Williams will also be tasked with setting an example for the youngsters off the court. He’s a major gym rat and a true professional. There’s a good chance he’s named the Hornets team captain heading into the season, and he’s more than deserving of the role. In the words of James Borrego:
He gave us everything he had out there. He is a warrior. The number one thing is he is a leader, he anchors that locker room. He gives us a wonderful professionalism out there every single night.
This is the last season of Williams’ contract, and where he goes from here is a mystery to everyone. The Hornets are looking to go young and they might not have room for a 34-year-old Marvin Williams next season. Williams himself may seek greener pastures and try to latch onto a contender, and there should be no shortage of bidders for his services. His role for this season is up in the air with Bridges and rookie PJ Washington coming for his minutes.
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Williams right now, but we know he’ll handle it the way he always does-with grace and professionalism.