Bucks Lead

Williams Set to Add Two-Way Versatility to Bucks Bench

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The trade deadline came and went, and the Milwaukee Bucks stood pat. While this was certainly expected by many when it came to the NBA’s best team, it led to a somewhat uneventful afternoon. However, there is always a second course after the deadline, particularly one through which the contenders feast the most: the buyout market. This year, it was headlined by a few names, including Charlotte forward Marvin Williams.

A former #2 overall pick back in the 2005 draft, Marvin Williams started off strong in Atlanta, averaging 14.8 PPG in 2007-08 in his third year. He then went on to Utah, where he would have his role, and thus his production, diminish. However, he joined the Hornets ahead of the 2014-15 season and has restarted his career. While he has still failed to produce eye-popping stats, he has always been a solid 3 (36.2% career 3P%) and D (28.1 defensive win shares) contributor.

 

 

 

Williams’ dismissal comes as just the latest in a string of moves that have changed Charlotte’s core in a major way over the previous year, with Kemba Walker signed and traded to Boston this offseason and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist — a former top 5 pick himself — bought out as well this week. So, who would be the one to gain Marvin Williams’ services?

Enter Milwaukee.

Just hours after it was reported that he was bought out, it was brought to light that Williams would be planning to make his way to Milwaukee to join the Bucks. This was not only a big win for Milwaukee, but also a big blow to a few of their Eastern Conference rivals, particularly the Boston Celtics, as Kemba Walker was not too pleased with his former teammates’ decision. In addition, teams like the 76ers or even those out West like the Clippers, Lakers or Rockets would have welcomed him with open arms. All said and done, though, it was the Bucks who would end up with the former Tar Heel on their squad.

So, where does Williams fit in? Well, first off, he will be taking Dragan Bender’s spot on the roster, as the young big man was waived in a corresponding move to make room for Williams. When it comes to his role, though, that is a little more up in the air. Realistically, the Bucks’ current rotation looks something like this:

  • PG: Bledsoe/Hill
  • SG: Matthews/DiVincenzo
  • SF: Middleton/Connaughton/Korver
  • PF: G. Antetokounmpo/Ilyasova
  • C: B. Lopez/R. Lopez

Looking at this list shows a pretty clear spot for Williams in Coach Bud’s rotation. According to Basketball Reference, Williams has played 72% of his 2019-20 minutes at the power forward position, with the other 22% surprisingly coming as a small-ball center, even further accentuating his versatility. So, potentially, the Bucks could go a couple of different ways with their bench lineup (assuming you replace Ilyasova with Williams in these lineups):

  • Traditional: Hill/DiVincenzo/Connaughton or Korver/Williams/R. Lopez
  • Small-Ball: Hill/DiVincenzo/Connaughton/Korver/Williams

Now, that second lineup seems small on the surface, but their heights in order are 6’3″, 6’4″, 6’5″, 6’7″ and 6’8″. In relatively sparse minutes and used in the right situations, that could be a particularly devastating lineup, particularly from behind the arc and from an athleticism standpoint. Williams’ total minutes this season would put him ninth on the Bucks roster for this year, placing him firmly on the bench, exactly the kind of role the Bucks expect him to play.

So, Marvin Williams– welcome to Milwaukee and Bucks fans could not be more happy to have you!

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