Thoughts on the Shawne Williams deal

If you all haven't heard the news, according to RealGM, Shawne Williams of the Pacers has been traded to the Mavericks for Eddie Jones, two 2nd round picks, and $1.8 million in cash.

This is definitely a step back, and at best a lateral step for the Mavs. My initial reaction to this trade is amazement. We all knew Shawne Williams was not going to last very long after his marijuana incident last year, and it is no secret he was on Larry Bird's blacklist after the incident. With that said, out of the 29 other teams in the league, why would the Mavericks be the ones to make a move for him?

It makes sense as to why the Pacers would want to split Marquis Daniels and Williams up, but why would Dallas want to bring Josh Howard and Williams together? With all of the negative press about Josh Howard these past 5 months, bringing in another problem player can't be healthy to the team's chemistry as well as their PR rehabilitation.

My guess right now is that Rick Carlisle thought very highly of Williams when he coached the Pacers. He can be a solid bench player if he focuses more energy on the court. Watching Williams play in Memphis left one to think that he is the prototype of an NBA player. Being 6'9 and 225lbs, he has the size to be a 3. He can play face up to the basket, and in college, could get to the rim at will. He is an inconsistent shooter, but with so much potential and only being 22, he definitely has room for improvement. Carlisle clearly thinks Williams has a chance to make it in this league, and wants one more shot a reviving a Williams career before it even really began. What is going to be the most intriguing part of this deal is how Williams conducts himself off the court. If he starts associating with the wrong people and it affects his play, I can't imagine Cuban having much patience for it after all he has had to deal with after the Howard situation. Nonetheless, the only product that matters is on the court. Williams has averaged 6.7 pts and 2.7 rebounds throughout his 2 year career. If he wants another contract, that is going to have to be improved to around 10 or 11ppg and he is going to have to improve his rebound category to around 6 or 7, at minimum to go along with it.

The problem I see with Williams is that he has no defined role at this point unless he somehow outplays Devean George and Jerry Stackhouse for minutes. If Carlisle starts randomly subbing Williams in to see how he fares, that could be disastrous for Williams and the Mavericks. In that scenario, it seems like Williams will get lost and his production will drop even further. That sort of seems like the rationale for trading Eddie Jones. Jones is an old veteran who had to compete with the younger George and Stackhouse for the same minutes Williams will be competing for, and with Williams due to make $1.5 and Jones being paid $1.9, it wasn't like that $400,000 was a salary cap move. The Mavs clearly see something here, and the desperate Mavs supporters are hoping it is right.

I love Shawne Williams the player, and I have loved his game since his days at Memphis. In fact, I was just talking with someone about how surprised I was when he was drafted 16th. Before the 2006 draft I was telling everyone that Williams was going to be one of the best players of the class, and the teams picking 11-15 were making a big mistake on passing him up. I have no problem admitting that I have been wrong so far. However, I do still have hope for Williams' career. There are two roads that Williams can take with his new start in Dallas. He can either live up to his potential or continue down his current path and find himself out of the league when his rookie contract expires.

As far as Indiana goes, Eddie Jones was my favorite player when he was on the Lakers. It has been tough for me to see him decline from his days as a Laker. I do believe that Eddie Jones will retire after his contract is up. He has even said that he will 'go home' if he did not win a championship with Dallas. I was rooting for him to win that championship, but it seems as if it won't be part of his career as a player. I don't see Jones playing much of a role in Indiana unless Jamaal Tinsley gets traded (which is a real possibility), but even then, Jones will be limited. Overall, the deal was great for the Pacers, and a gamble for the Mavs. It just adds to the already intriguing upcoming NBA season.



brandon hoffman said...

Good analysis.

Anonymous said...

it's Jamaal Tinsley. Three a's.

Izzy said...

I apologize for the typo. It is fixed now. Thank you for pointing that out. I'll do my best to keep misspellings in names down as much as possible.