Tom Ziller likes Marvin and gives Rick Sund high marks for signing him to a long-term deal on the (relative) cheap:
The Hawks played hardball this summer with restricted free agent Marvin Williams, just as the Hawks do with most restricted free agents. Last year, Atlanta GM Rick Sund allowed Josh Smith to hang in the RFA win, only bringing the electric forward back when Memphis got Smith to sign a reasonable offer sheet.Mark Bradley calls this "just about the greatest summer in Hawks history" which says something about both the organization's recent streak of competence and its history.
Williams as an unrestricted free agent could have received closer to $50 million, even in this climate. He's a stellar defender at the small forward spot, agile and looooong. But during his first three seasons, Williams's offense lagged and his instincts weren't quite developed. He worked hard last summer to develop a jumper ... and it worked! He went from quizzical to stud in one season, and he's one of the more promising small forwards in the league as a result.
A salary contained below $10 million annually is good work for the Hawks, especially when you consider how reasonable Smith's contract looks. The Hawks still need a piece (or serious improvement from the young core, or a standout season from rookie Jeff Teague) to do better than fourth in the conference, but there's time. There's time.
At The Baseline, Bethlehem Shoals comes dangerously close to ticking off each item on the mediot checklist:
Thus, Williams is, to some degree, getting paid based on potential. You'd think that wouldn't be happening in this economic climate, but it is. Roughly $8 million a year for a guy who doesn't even start consistently. The Hawks have Josh Smith, a 3/4, under contract through 2013; they darn sure are keeping 4/5 Al Horford when he's up for an extension; and they still hold the rights to Josh Childress, even if he's headed back to Greece for another overseas tour.First, the factual error: Williams has started 202 of the 205 games he's played over the last three seasons with two of those reserve appearances occurring in April 2009 after he'd missed a month with a back injury and the Hawks had secured the fourth seed.
Secondly, the description of Josh Smith, a man incapable of getting in a defensive stance, who possesses poor lateral movement, and is the worst jump shooter in the NBA as a "3/4." I think it's safe to dismiss as facile any analysis that fails to understand Josh Smith's obvious strengths and limitations.
He needed only to complain about high ticket prices, call Williams selfish for agreeing to a contract offer, or raise the red flag over early entrant to hit the trifecta.