Although Marcus Williams hadn’t played in a game since January 25, when I saw that the Warriors finally released the seldom-used guard today, all I could think was this: What a waste.
As a UConn fan, I can remember when Williams used to be good. Coming out of high school where he was a star at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles before transferring to Oak Hill Academy for his senior year, Williams stepped right in and replaced Taliek Brown at the point guard position.
But despite some trouble on campus, the talent was still there. In the 2006 NCAA tourney, he averaged 20.0 points and 8.8 assists, while shooting 52% from the field, 56% from three and 96% from the line. All the scouts agreed, Williams was ready for the next level.
And that’s exactly why he was drafted 22nd overall by the Nets that summer, being given a chance to learn from future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd. But when Kidd was traded, Williams didn’t step up.
This past summer, he was given another chance. With Baron Davis headed to the Clippers, Golden State traded a future first round pick for Williams last summer with the goal being that he would compete for the starting point guard job. But for whatever the reason, he once again faded into obscurity.
“It just wasn’t a good fit,” coach Don Nelson said. “I like him very much. It was a really tough situation and he was a model citizen. He worked hard and was a pleasure to be around. His style just wasn’t my style. He’s better in the half-court.”
Playing in just nine games for the Warriors, Williams averaged an embarassing 1.3 points and 1.4 assists in under six minutes per game. But despite his lack of production, I’d still give him another chance. While his style may not have worked for Nelson, given another chance to learn behind an established PG, I believe we haven’t heard the last from Marcus Williams.