With yesterday's news that the Nets are going to hang on to Shawne Williams for the immediate future, despite initial speculation that he would be waived once the Humphries-Najera trade was completed, we thought it would be worthwhile to provide a little information about the Nets new player.
While Dave D'Alessandro was quite snarky in his write-up of Williams, there is/was talent there at some point. As a freshman at Memphis (teammates with Chris Douglas-Roberts), the 6'9" forward averaged 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds and was named Conference USA Tournament MVP. Before the 2006 draft, where he was picked 17th by the Indiana Pacers, your friend and mine, John Calipari labeled Williams a "sleeper."
While Williams has yet to live up to his potential on the court, it's been his off-the-court antics that have truly torpedoed his career. In September 2007, he was busted for marijuana possession and for driving without a license. In February 2008, a friend of Williams' wanted in connection for a Tennessee murder, was arrested leaving Williams' house. Earlier this year, he was basically told by the Mavericks to just stay away.
Tim Donahue, who writes for the TrueHoop Pacers blog Eight Points Nine Seconds, was never a huge believer in Williams, but "there was a sizable contingent of Pacer fans that were absolutely convinced that the was going to be a better player than Danny Granger."
"Problem is he's one of those guys that makes a promising first impression, but then never, ever shows any progress," Donahue added. "Couple his inability to improve as a basketball player with the situational judgment of a ham sandwich, and you've got a bust. He's still in the league, because of his guaranteed contract. Think an unmotivated Tim Thomas."
Sounds like he'll fit right in around here.