The Utah Jazz made a franchise altering trade years ago, shipping off disgruntled guard Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets for a collection of talent, and the hope for a brighter future down the road. The one non-draft pick, non-rookie player the Jazz received for Williams was point guard Devin Harris. After 80 games in one and a half seasons in a Jazz jersey, he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for their long time pariah, former lotto pick, Marvin Williams.
Williams rebuilt his game in Utah and focused more and more on being a face up threat at the expense of his previously more dynamic, all-around game. He hasn't had the best seasons of his career with the Jazz, but in Utah he has been a regular contributor to a team that has gone to the lottery twice. It's not the nicest way to put it --- but Marvin has moved from being a young player with potential to an older, injury limited player who has been producing diminishing returns. Previously Marvin would be a guy who would get to the free throw line 5 times a game, be a threat to go for 20, and throw down some amazing dunks. Today he exists as a floor spacing power forward who averaged fewer rebounds per game than the starting shooting guard for our team this past season, Gordon Hayward. (If you round to the tens spot it's the same, but if you round to the hundredths spot Gordo grabs more boards)
Despite his faults I still feel like Marvin has a lot to offer the right team that uses him in the right way. Perhaps this is abject homer-ism, but I am part of the ever diminishing "unreasonably high on Marvin club". Had he played in Jerry Sloan 's flex offense he would have been amazing. Instead, well, he has become a super specialized player that seems to have turned it off, during the stretch run towards unrestricted free agency.
That is curious to say the least. But one way to get the juices flowing again is to play for a winning team, a team that's a contender, and be surrounded by all-world talent. He may have that chance with the Miami Heat. While there have been numerous reports about Marvin this off-season, only a few are worth really looking at. First, Marvin is open to returning to the Jazz. That could just be PR/Media speak though. He's a vet and not going to throw this market under the bus. And second, yeah, the Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers have him on their list. But The San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat actually want him.
Yesterday heat boss Pat Riley, and current head coach Erik Spoelstra few out to meet with him.
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
We talked all about the potential Marvin / Heat pairing a few days ago here, and I was even inclined to give it a 6 out of 10 chance of happening. Having two of the most important people in the franchise fly out to talk to Marvin means that they must be serious about him. He gives them a little of what they need -- a guy who can space the floor and hit open jumpers, and do that while getting out of the way of LeBron James .
I don't think he's actually a better fit for them than Shane Battier (more reliable, able to defend SG, SF, PF), or Rashard Lewis (taller, longer wingspan, more deflections, more rebounds). But maybe they are also unreasonably high on Marvin as well as I am?
The Utah Jazz don't really *need* Marvin this season. They do need a vet, and need to shore up their wing rotation. But they just traded for Steve Novak after drafting Rodney Hood . These two guys do exactly what Marvin does on offense, space the floor and hit jumpers. Sure, Marvin is much better than both of them right now -- but he should also play more than either and cost more. Utah doesn't need to pay someone or play someone like Marvin right now. Instead they seem committed to actual development this season. As a result, I wouldn't be upset if Marvin does take his talents to South Beach.
He's a great guy, and I loved him as a Jazz player. I feel like a great coach would be able to see his talents and use him to his strengths. If he doesn't come back to the Jazz I will mourn the fact that he's not there to teach Hood directly. But we've seen that the veteran mentor program isn't a complete replacement for actual coaching or instruction.
C'est la vie.
Love you Marv. I know teams are interested in you. They have a right to be. You will be going into your 10th year in the league and you remain an enigma.