The Hawks have enough other issues now, with injuries to Al Horford, Jason Collins and Joe Johnson (who couldn’t finish Monday’s loss at Chicago because of a knee injury).
But here’s one more problem — or maybe it’s actually comic relief.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard — and I caution all to not treat this with Woodward-and-Bernstein reliability — Hawks forward Marvin Williams wants out. Quoting directly from Broussard’s “True Hoop” blog: “Frustration abounds in Atlanta right now, and sources say Marvin Williams wants out because he wants to play somewhere where he’ll have an increased role offensively. Williams is averaging just 9.6 points per game, his lowest since his rookie season.”
Let’s assume for a minute (or as long as it takes to finish this blog) that this true. Question: Seriously? I know Broussard covers the NBA but this items cries for some context.
This is Williams’ seventh NBA season. He has been a bust. Forget for a moment that the astrophysicist, former general manager Billy Knight, passed up Chris Paul to take Williams. There’s still an expectation that the second pick in the NBA draft will be a solid-to-great player, but Williams hasn’t been close to that.
It’s true that his scoring average of 9.6 points is the lowest of his career. But let’s not suggest that he has been an 18-to-20-scorer in the NBA. His annual averages: 8.5, 13.1, 14.8, 13.9, 10.1, 10.4, 9.6. Career average: 11.6.
Williams has been almost a full-time starter since year two. He has played 458 games. I think we all know by know what he can do.
In 2009, general manager Rick Sund gave Williams, then a free agent, a five-year, $37.5 million contract extension. I’m sure the thought at the time was that, after four years, maybe the small forward would turn all of that athletic ability into something good. But that hasn’t happened. So the Hawks are now stuck with an underwhelming player who makes $7.5 million this season, $8.2875 million next year and a $7.5 million player option in 2013-14.
In other words, Marvin, if you really want out, we hereby give you permission to pick up the phone and find a team that’s interested.
By Jeff Schultz