Shame on the HHB.
Having been called out on Twitter by the fine folk(s) @peachtreehoops for not having a reaction to the not-yet-but-close-enough-to-say-it's-close-enough signing of Marvin Williams, the HHB is compelled to pander--something that comes naturally to the attention needy such as we.
The contract, as being tossed about by various media outlets, is a reported 5 years, 40ish million dollars with incentives to bridge the gap between 37 and 40 million that are probably related to Marvin not missing an unreasonable amount of games over the course of the contract. (Hey, at least the Hawks are trying to save the insurance companies a buck or two. Viva economy!)
From the Hawks point of view, this is a good deal.
They lock up their Age 23 small forward for his prime years, and was able to do so after watching a season where he showed the Hawks what he can provide at the very least throughout those years.
His numbers improved almost across the board, with the lone exception of assist rate (come on, Marv!). A 117 offensive rating, 16PER, and career highs in eFG (.502) and TS% (.569) tell the story of what we thought we were seeing last season; a player who, after two seasons of feeling around the basketball floor, finally found his rhythm on the court, and became a big reason the Hawks improved to (47) wins last season.
Maybe the biggest non-statistical indication of Marvin's progress came when he missed over a dozen games during the season with a bad back. His return was not only newsworthy, he received a standing ovation from the loving fans @ Philips Arena--and put the "but he's not" conversations to rest for a little while.
As for the money involved, the team could have played hardball with Marvin, as they did with Josh Smith and Josh Childress a season before, and made him find the market value for himself. But the Hawks could not afford to dare Marvin to play out the qualifier and become an unrestricted free agent after next year. Even with a doom-and-gloom prediction over a cap reduction next season, there are plenty of indications that there will be a lot of money available for next year's free agent crop--with few top end free agents to spend it on, which could lead to overspending on players like Williams for those teams who don't nab those top free agents in 2010.
The Hawks also would have risked Williams taking another step forward in his development next season and leaving the Hawks wishing they had locked him up when they had the chance. (D'oh!) After having Josh Childress in Greek purgatory, the Hawks had to ensure they would not lose another above average producing player for nothing.
Even if the Hawks aren't completely satisfied, Williams' youth and (getting) well rounded game should make him an interesting trade piece for whatever shows to be a more obvious need over the course of the 2009-2010 Hawks campaign.
It's a good deal for Marvin, too.
He now doesn't have to sweat it out throughout next season, wondering if he will make it through the year without suffering an injury that would significantly hurt his chances at a high dollar package.
He can also proceed with just playing basketball--in that contract watching and worrying can be an amazing distraction for any player. Marvin can cash his checks and focus on the game now--no small positive there.
5 years, 40 million dollars. Not too shabby.
...stroking their beards and wondering, "What's to be done with this HHB?"
This is a good deal for the fans, also. Marvin is a likable, productive player who has worked hard (and succeeded) at getting better every season. He is rounding himself into a productive player in every facet of the game and can be counted on to give great effort, especially on defense.
We are only left to hope that the incentives in this proposed contract commit Marvin to keeping the all important and powerful mustache, his consistently great quotes, and an instructional video on how to solve the Rubik's Cube.
The HHB is happy that the Hawks were able to take care of Marvin and finish off the internal free agent season (sorry RFM). Odes to Marvin's Mustache can be sung in the sound proof Comments Area.
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