Marvin Williams continues to intrigue me.
So while it would be boring to discuss why the Atlanta Hawks’ dysfunctional ownership has not offered a six-year, $42 million to $48 million contract to Williams, I felt it wouldn’t be right to NOT discuss some sort of possibility where Williams could become a Toronto Raptor.
Sorry, I know that this is one of the MOST unlikely scenarios to occur in the offseason, and I have a tendency to either predict (read: get lucky) or make statements that have some sort of chance of happening. This one is completely off-the-wall, million-to-one, when-pigs-fly things where it would be completely impossible if Colangelo wasn’t such a forward-thinking general manager.
So let’s discuss the possibility
First, why? When you look at any contender (Boston, San Antonio, the Lakers), you have to notice the star power, or at least some middling player who is taking up a substantial part of the payroll (Utah and Andrei Kirilenko it a great example). Other than the 2003 Pistons, who was the last NBA champion to win a championship without going over the cap? To be honest, I am not even sure about the Pistons 100 percent, as the mid-season acquisition of Rasheed Wallace may have put them over the cap. So we know that winners go over the cap.
A three-man forward rotation would be beneficial. Think of having Chris Bosh, Hedo Turkoglu, and Williams coming off the bench for the Raptors. Just think about it: Your second unit would be incredibly dangerous, and you would be able to overmatch even quality teams with the strength of your second unit.
A combination of DeMar DeRozan, Jarrett Jack, Williams, and Reggie Evans would be able to sustain leads and possibly create several mismatches on the floor. The starters would remain “fresh” throughout the year and the bench players would gain valuable experience that becomes handy during playoff time. Doesn’t that sound a bit better than what we have now?
Why Marvin Williams? Generally a team like the Spurs has built their winning traditions by acknowledging and identifying great young players and signing them to below-market contracts (Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are great examples) and surrounding them with great complimentary players. So while I am not here to debate if Bosh is a franchise player or not, he is the person management has identified as the marquee player. So surrounding Bosh with Hedo, Andrea Bargnani, DeRozan, Jose Calderon, and Jack is an amazing core. Now add Williams as a 23-year-old hybrid forward to that core with his defense, scoring, and untapped potential. You have made an already very good team into a great one.
The one thing all championship winners seem to have is an abundance of high-priced talent mixed in with key role players. The Raptors have begun to set a foundation of all three this offseason.
Williams brings a mix of scoring and defense that is critical in surviving the arduous playoffs and succeeding in the finals. He is widely considered the most talented of the Hawks’ core and was developing by leaps and bounds last season.
It’s great to build a team to make it to the playoffs, which by all accounts likely has been done this year. But to win it all, Marvin Williams could be the difference.
The luxury tax would be breached, but last time I checked, the purpose of making it to the playoffs was to win the NBA championship.
So Bryan Colangelo I implore you, if not Marvin Williams, then someone like him.