On Tuesday, GM Mitch Kupchak announced the signing of Shawne Williams, a 6’9” forward who can play either forward spot, to a 1-year contract for the minimum. The contract is only partially guaranteed.
The 27-year old Williams will be reunited with Coach Mike D’Antoni, under whom who had his best season in 2010-11 while playing for the Knicks. The former first-round pick out of Memphis (17th overall to Indiana) averaged 7.1 points a game that year while shooting an impressive 40% from behind the arc.
With the recent report from ESPNLA’s Dave McMenamin that second-round pick Ryan Kelly is behind schedule in his rehabilitation from multiple foot procedures, this signing makes a whole lot of sense. Williams, if focused (he’s been charged twice for marijuana offenses, most recently in February), could morph into the three-point shooting stretch forward that MDA envisioned in Kelly. That is, if he makes the team- Williams will likely compete with recently signed forward Elias Harris as well as Kelly and Marcus Landry, both of whom are expected to sign, for the final roster spots.
It’s hard to believe that the Lakers, despite being able to carry as many as 15 players during the season, would be willing to take on TWO underachieving first-rounders with a weed problem, so it’s safe to assume that the Lakers will not be a player in the Michael Beasley sweepstakes.