Of all the young players on the Charlotte Hornets, there is one that has received his fair share of praise in his still young career. Center Mark Williams.
Williams came on late last season as Charlotte’s starting center Mason Plumlee. The 2022 first-round draft selection nearly averaged a double-double following Plumlee’s departure, setting the stage for what should be a step forward in his second NBA season.
It is more than a step forward that is being projected, however, as Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale believes that a second-year leap is in the cards for Williams. Favale would note Williams’ defense, in addition to his skills on offense near the basket.
"“Williams is wrecking lives around the rim, swallowing passes whole and, for the most part, avoiding foul trouble on defense. He is running the floor, making tough catches and displaying touch and coordination at the hoop on offense. There is more room for his passing to blossom, and he may yet get to expand his shooting range.”"
Favale does note the limited shooting range of Williams, and for good reason. 88.2% of Williams’s field goal attempts this season have come within three feet, up from last season’s mark of 67.3%. There is obviously going to be a correction of sorts as the season progresses but it may not be all that much. The Hornets really just need Williams to be able to convert a jump shot from a decent distance away from the hoop to create some space, not only for himself but for his teammates as well.
Williams has seen decent improvements in the scoring and rebounding departments early on this season. His scoring average has increased from 9.0 to 13.8, and rebounds have increased slightly, from 7.1 to 7.6. This is solid but nothing remarkable as of yet but that does not mean a massive step is not out of the equation. There is still plenty of time for the leap to happen, and there is a good chance that it will come to fruition by season’s end.