Updates from Saturday, July 12
Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears reports Williams has found a new team:
Marvin Williams agrees to two-year, $14 million deal with Hornets, source tells Yahoo. Fully guaranteed, no option.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 12, 2014
Updates from Tuesday, July 8
After losing free agent Josh McRoberts to the Miami Heat, the Charlotte Hornets are pursuing free agentMarvin Williams to take over the power forward slot, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Hornets and Williams have discussed parameters of a deal, but no agreement is imminent, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Williams, 28, is perhaps the best available power forward left on the free-agent market and it could be paramount to the Hornets to secure him.
Free-agent forward Marvin Williams isn't the biggest name on the open market in the NBA offseason, but his raw talent, versatility and athleticism should entice several teams to pursue him.
One of the suitors interested in acquiring Williams' services is the Miami Heat, according to Basketball Insiders' Alex Kennedy:
Heat still trying to woo free agents. Sources confirm Heat are expressing serious interest in Marvin Williams and met face to face with him.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 7, 2014
That confirmed what Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports reported earlier on Sunday:
Heat prez Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra flew to NC to meet with Jazz free agent forward Marvin Williams yesterday, a source told Yahoo.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2014
Ethan J. Skolnick of Bleacher Report weighed in on what would make Williams an attractive option for the Heat:
What do Heat see in Marvin Williams? Wing defender, OK 3-pt shooter (36%), has settled into role mindset, still relatively young (28).— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 6, 2014
Grantland's Zach Lowe also likes Williams as a fit to take over for the retired Shane Battier—provided Miami retains its All-Star nucleus:
Been suggesting Marvin Williams as a potential Battier successor for months -- assuming same core comes back. Because if not...— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 6, 2014
That is hardly a slam dunk, as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are all free agents. What they do will have a major impact on the Association along with the significance of Williams landing in South Beach.
The Heat may need to secure Williams soon if this report from TNT's David Aldridge is any indication:
Marvin Williams solidly on "next" line for threes after top four/five. Talking with Spurs, Heat, Wizards, Hornets, Clips, Magic, Suns.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 4, 2014
Williams was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft but has never lived up to that billing. Never serving as more than a "glue guy" with the Atlanta Hawks or in his recent two seasons with the Utah Jazz, there is little reason to hope Williams will ever completely fulfill his gaudy draft status.
What Williams does bring to the table is enticing, though. He can play either the 3 or the 4 and is a solid, lengthy defender who can get out in transition and stretch the floor with three-point range.
Those are all things Miami needs, particularly with regard to size up front. However, Williams acknowledged earlier in the 2013-14 campaign that he had some limitations in that regard.
"I feel like I do OK with the guys that are bigger than me as long as they're not as much of an offensive threat," said Williams, per The Salt Lake Tribune's Aaron Falk. "But when you get a guy like Nene, who can really score the ball and outweighs you by 25-30 pounds, it can be a little difficult."
Whether Williams can be a solid starter on a championship-caliber team is still up for debate. He's never been on a roster close to contention, and he also hasn't been a transcendent player at any point in his career. A lot of his future success would depend on the talent flanking him. James, Wade and Bosh—or some combination of that trio—will go a long way in determining that.
Then there's also the possibility that Williams goes somewhere else, which will also presumably hinge on what James and Co. do.
Too much is up in the air at the moment to speculate on whether Williams will join the Heat, but it bodes well for him that Miami is in hot pursuit. Whether that means the Heat are gearing up for apocalyptic free-agent losses or seeking to tweak a championship-contending roster by adding Williams remains to be seen.