Specs: Small forward. 6’9”, 225 lbs. Drafted with the 17th pick in 2006 out of Memphis.
2008-2009 Stats: 2.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 28.6% FG, 7.6 PER.
Why we want him: Shawne is a project. Rick Carlisle evidently saw enough in Williams during their shared time in Indiana that he thought Williams might have something to offer to the Mavericks, but so far he’s fallen pretty short. Still, he’s got legit NBA size for the three, and his length and body make him a good rebounder for his position (his rebounding rate, though from a pretty small sample size, is good for second on the team). The general line of thinking with project players is that if you find a player with the right unteachable skills (height, athleticism, etc.), you can instruct them to harness those assets into positive forms of production. Williams has all of the requisites necessary to be an adequate scorer and rebounder at the three, and he’s still just 22 years old. Every once in awhile he’ll put up stats that catch your eye (a 12 rebound effort against Phoenix comes to mind), and that kind of tease may be enough to keep Dallas’ curiosity piqued. In truth, Williams is a long way from becoming a productive NBA player, and seems much more likely to fall the way of prolonged NBA inactivity than to clossom into a rotation player. Sorry, dude. It’s kinda what happens when you combine pedestrian defense, an errant jumper (he’s shooting 5.9% from three on the season), and a questionable work ethic.
Why they want him: Two reasons: reputation and contract. Shawne Williams showed flashes in his rookie season and continues to tease to this day, and GMs might be inclined to look upon those games with rose-colored classes. He’s still young and still seen as having potential, and for that reason a team might consider him an adequate throw-in or even a low-level asset in a trade. Williams’ former off-court issues may have had time to fade into the shadows, and his time in Dallas has been without note. Supposing other teams buy into the idea that Shawne won’t be an off-court distraction and view him as a prospect with upside, another team might be willing to bite on a trade. Otherwise, Williams is an interesting player for contractual reasons. His salary is around $1.5 million for this season with a team option (around $2.5 million) next year, meaning that he is a prime candidate for trade filler or cap-clearing (EDIT: Williams’ option has already been picked up. Thanks, Jared. But his value remains for matching reasons.). Matching salaries in a trade isn’t as easy as it seems, but with pieces like Shawne Williams, a potential trade partner would get an extended look at an intriguing prospect for a minimal price, and then choose to pick up his option or jettison him this summer.
Trade value: Low. It’s pretty doubtful that Donnie Nelson’s phone is ringing off the hook with requests for Williams (let’s face it, he’s no Zepp), and it’s very unlikely that he would be included in a trade as a centerpiece. His ticket out of Dallas is as a contract throw-in, and based on the types of players the Mavs are targeting, that could be a possibility.
Likelihood of Being Traded Before the Deadline: In honor of Jim Jackson, former Maverick and the most stereotypical NBA journeyman to ever journey, man, each player’s likelihood of being traded will be evaluated using the Jim Jackson Index (JJI; a scale of 0-5):
2 Jim Jacksons out of 5.