http://www.blazersedge.com/2009/2/19/765207/game-54-preview-hawks-vs-b Dave admits Trout is a "girl scout" compared to Marvin Williams
http://espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?playerId=2797 Hollinger Scouting Report
http://www.blazersedge.com/2008/3/23/214943/579 Ben says Marvin is an "under 25 stud"
http://www.blazersedge.com/2008/1/27/23910/6222 Dave says Marvin has "star potential"
It has been a MIND BOGGLING experience to see absolutely no interest in acquiring Marvin Williams as a restricted free agent this upcoming offseason from anyone at BE, particularly in lieu of other maneuvers. With that said, I'd be interested in finding out if their is something missing in this strategy, and whether their is a belief this could be something KP pulls off in the coming weeks. Some "pros" people seem to be missing... (PS: I know he's a restricted FA, more on that later)
1st: Small Forward Upgrade 32 Minutes per/game - We can't count on Wester's bum foot, & Batum's upside is great, but anyone who watched the playoffs knows he's a couple of years away. In the links above you'll see "Dave" agrees Outlaw is a "girl scout" compared to Marvin, "Ben" calls him a "under 25 stud," and "Dave" once again says he has "star potential." If you haven't watched Marvin play, consider the fact these are not praises afforded to Outlaw, & seriously, in all honesty, I'm a big Batum fan, but it is really unrealistic to think Batum doesn't need more seasoning.
2nd: Defensive Stud + Lebron Stopper - Marvin is 6'9 & 240lbs as a "natural small forward," which is 30lbs bigger than Trout. If you check out what Peachtree Hoops end of year review thinks of him, he's shown to be their best "on the ball defender"(on a solid "D" team,") who "relishes" the ability to guard the "Lebrons" and "Pierces" of the world, and inarguably is a better defender than Trout. He is widely considered to have "elite athleticism," which allows him to match up against the elites of the NBA. So as a "sf," and the wider world of the Hawks blog-a world, Atlanta fans are in agreement that while he needs to improve the help defense, he is overall an excellent defender at the 3 spot. As far as "Lebron Stopper," a tad hyperbole, admitted, but even in the future, he will provide defensive matchup versatility when Batum is matched up against bigger (a la Artest, or Lebron) sf's that give him problems. Imagine the "D" in 3 years time if we had a developed Batum manning the "2" spot, Roy at the "1" for a little time, Marvin, LMA, & Oden filling out the front line (Sick!) *Below is Hollinger's take "before" this past season, notable because Atlanta nation really felt he started to develop that "bulldog" mentality on "D" this year.
Scouting report: Williams' two high-caliber skills are outstanding quickness for his size and his ability to hit mid-range Js off the catch. The threat of the jumper is the reason he drew so many free-throws, as he could shot fake and easily get a step on defenders. He's also become much more aggressive off the dribble when defenders crowd him, and is a threat as a finisher in transition. Though he's not a particularly deceptive dribbler, his quickness allows him to beat defenders on straight line drives with either hand.
Defensively, Williams' quickness is also an asset. He often guards the opponent's top scorer, and while he doesn't have the bulldog mentality of a stopper, his combination of height and quickness is a pretty good package.
3rd: Skills Correspond To Our Team --> Defense Needed, Check! Also, many agree we need a guy who can spread the floor, (read the extended version of Hollinger), and you'll see him described before this year as one of the "elite mid-range jump shooters in the game," and if you follow Marvin at all, you'll see he worked on stretching that out to the 3pt line this past year (in 61 games played, he shot 355% this year). Hollinger is in agreement: For such a young player to have such a pure stroke from inside the line, it seems he will continue to improve with this in the future. (side note: great shot fake, averaged 5 free throws per game this year) In addition, one of his biggest knocks is that he isn't aggressive enough on the offensive end, and despite his skills, he doesn't force the issue enough. Yet on our team, that is almost the perfect skill set for a SF in Nate's system, as we are looking for a guy who can shoot off the double team, play good "D," and defer to the "Big 3"
4th: Potential, Potential, Potential (combined with skills now!!!) --> Given: Marvin replaces Outlaw. Marvin is 1 year, 9 months younger than Trout, and has actually improved each year he has been in the league, his PER topped 16 this year, and Marvin just turned 23 this month!!! If you start scouring Atlanta blogs, you'll see they complain bitterly he was drafted over CP, and complain he hasn't lived up to expectations, yet many of them want him signed for about 8 million per year, because unlike Trout, no one believes he is done improving. He is already a better player, offensively & defensively than trout, and Trout has shown he doesn't have the lateral quickness to improve much defensively, nor the BBIQ to improve dramatically on the offensive end. Marvin is always described as an "elite athlete," and his upside has always been, and remains better than Trout. Combine this with the fact he is ALREADY a better player, who has produced on a playoff team, means we can improve NOW, while still building for, seriously folks, what could be a dynasty if Paul Allen pulls out the wallet.
5th: Playoff Versatility As Backup PF: (This is huge) Trouts skinny little body guarding Scola (no!) or... Marvin, 8-10 minutes per game, 30lbs heavier, guarding Scola, and providing a mismatch offensively (not too mention his offensive skill set mirrors what we'd want on a 2nd line with Pryz), that is something I can definately live with for 10 minutes a game as a BACKUP!!! This is a HUGE POINT: In the playoffs we need a "true" 3/4, someone who can effectively play both positions, because you've really HAVE to maximize your most talented players, the time for playing scrubs is over. Think Jeff Pendergraff can be a solid backup PF, well he is also 6'9 and 240, same size as Marvin!!! Admittedly, in the regular season, you'll want to keep guys fresh, but once the playoffs start, don't you think Marvin will be able to throw some elbows around down low for 10 minutes a game!?!
6th: Marvin's Blazer Attitude! --> If you said "No!" to the last question, again, scour the Atlanta blogs, and if nothing else, you'll find that Marvin is a "hard worker," "consumate professional," "never gripes," and "gets along with his teamates." He fits our culture, and that is HUGE! He'll be a nightmare in the playoffs, taking LMA's spot for about 8-10 minutes a game, while Batum slips into the SF spot. LMA = PF 38 minutes, Marvin = PF 10 minutes, SF 28 minutes, Batum SF = 20 minutes (I for one, believe Batum will eventually be able to man the "2" during certain sections of games, with Roy at the "1", while Batum takes over for Roy on the difficult "D" assignment.)
7th: Works NOW & "Long Term" & Fosters "Dynasty Dreams" --> LMA 23, Marvin 23, Batum 20 = Having 2 of those 3 on the court at all times as the forwards, WOW!!! Seriously, Marvin can improve, but this year he just reached the point, where most basketball observers would say he's about the 16th best starting "sf" in the league. I'm trying to be honest here, that may not make you shake, but when you look at the skills the blazers need, our "window," his attitude, and his upside, that's not bad, because he can, and always has, improved, and fits this team Most of the elite scorers play this position, so that's not bad company, and its not unrealistic to say he'll be a top 10 sf in a few years. So many other aquisition proposals say "get Bass," who'll play 10 minutes a game in the playoffs bc he can't really play SF or hit the "3", or get Hedo, (who will give us 2 good years max, plays sub-par "D," and already had a lower PER than Marvin this past year), or Artest (who again, could be in serious decline in 2 years, who will be difficult to pry away from the Rockets, and might bite Brandon Roy's ear off if he gets hungry) If we sign Marvin, WE MAY BE GETTING AN ELITE SF/PF THAT WE ARE ABLE TO KEEP FOR 10 YEARS!! That is huge, we've gotta go "big," and why not make a move that won't benefit us for 2-3 years, but for 10! (Nicolas lovers, there will be minutes for Batum, when/if he surpasses Marvin, Marvin can "full time" be backup PF/SF, and as stated, I believe Batum may eventually even play some at the "2" (Again, this is with the hope Paul Allen will pay the tax for a bunch of rings on his fingers)
8th: Hawks Are Cheap!!! -- One of my fav reasons, the Hawks, (check out Hoopshype) are are 48 million in contracts next year if you factor in 1 million for Jeff Teague, and 4 millions to sign Zaza (which they'll do). That gives them 8 players under contract for 48 million, and the salary cap should be 57 million. Best Part: Management has been clear they do not want to go over the salary cap, not a bit! Atlanta is one of the cheapest teams in the nba. IF the Blazers can offer 9 or 10 million (granted, its slightly overpaying possibly, but this, and this year only, is our year to improve for the next decade!), Marvin is a restricted FA, and the Hawks have been extremely clear they don't want to go over the cap, thus they may let him walk.
Closing: I haven't researched the "trade exemption," but lets say we renounce our Eurotrash, get 10 million in cap room to sign Marvin from the Hawks, and then trade Trout & Blake for Captain Kirk (using the "Ike Trade Exemption" hopefully??? If that is illegal, we may have to dump Webster to someone, Cavs might take a chance?), that could be a pretty sick team for next year, it would be terrifying on the defensive end, and it would STILL BE EVEN MORE TERRIFYING 2 YEARS DOWN THE LINE (as opposed to watching Hedo slowly erode, we could be watching Marvin upping the PER to 17, and joyfully watch as he provided "D" Hedo can only dream of....and if Paul Allen goes BIG, he can sign Marvin up again when he becomes a FA...sick. Heck, give the Bulls Patty Mills & our first round next year too, if that is what it takes. We're trading Marvin & Kirk for Outlaw & Blake...it screams UPGRADE, both now and into the future. I love the fact we don't really have to give up too much, and we upgrade at our weakest positions (SF, Backup PF, & PG.) There are too many dumb gm's (and fans) that watch a good playoff performance (Hedo, Ariza, ect.), and completely ignore the skills of another guy just because he wasn't on tv recently, it seems Marvin may fall in this category (ex: PER this year better than Ariza & Hedo, already shoots the "3" better than Ariza, nearly as good as Hedo, more long term potential than either, and his "D" at least equals Ariza, destroy's Hedo's, and provides more versatility than Ariza, yet no one acts as if he's a "top" free agent) In all seriousness, Marvin's has shown himself to be, in this vital way, what Devin Harriss was 2 years ago: a talent that can be had, before he explodes into star level. So that's my take, and I am glad to get it off of my chest, as it has been ruminating for months, I'd be curious to hear your take, and Peace Out!