The Charlotte Hornets are a team that features their fair share of young players on their roster. While LaMelo Ball and Brandon Miller have garnered most of the attention this offseason, it is a player entering his second year in the league that was named as someone to watch.
A recently published article highlighting 10 players entering their sophomore season has taken notice of Charlotte’s second year center Mark Williams. Williams found himself in a position to see extended playing time late last season after the Hornets dealt Mason Plumlee, clearing a path for the young big man to make an impact. Author Steve Aschburner would note that Williams could continue to blossom alongside Charlotte’s best player.
"“A budding pick-and-roll chemistry with playmaker LaMelo Ball has coach Steve Clifford and the team’s fans intrigued. It’s unrealistic to expect Williams’ per-36 production – 16.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks – to accompany longer minutes (he averaged 19.3 as a rookie). But his rim protection and 63.7% accuracy on judicious shot selection should translate.”"
Williams was impressive down the stretch, but as noted, it may not be realistic for his production during that span to continue. The Hornets will have a healthy roster of players who will end up eating into what Williams will be able to accomplish this year. This does not mean that the young big man will not be a productive player for Charlotte this season, simply that there are other players who have much higher ceilings than him, and as a result, Williams’ overall production from a numbers standpoint will reflect having better teammates around him.
What it comes down to is understanding what Williams is and what the Hornets need him to be. Charlotte does not need him to be a superstar center, or even anything resembling an offensive force. All Williams has to do is be solid defensively and contribute when he can offensively. If he is able to accomplish that, Williams should solidify his spot as Charlotte’s starting center moving forward.