The center position in Charlotte was one of intrigue coming into this season. While the Hornets did see then-rookie big man Mark Williams play well down the stretch last year, there are times when small sample sizes in a lost season can produce false results. The good news for the Hornets is that does not appear to be the case with Williams.
Their second-year man in the middle is currently averaging a double-double (13.6 points and 10.4 rebounds) in 27.2 minutes per game. Williams' rebound average ranks sixth among all centers, while his field goal percentage (67.5%) ranks second, and scoring ranks sixth. This is some pretty impressive work from the soon-to-be 22-year-old center out of Duke.
Even with these impressive marks to start his career, Williams still finds himself among the overlooked players in the NBA. Appearing as the Hornets' entry in NBA: 1 Underrated player every team should be thankful to have on their roster from Sir Charles In Charge's Michael Saenz, Williams was named as a bright spot for the organization despite having a less-than-optimal record so far.
Williams has six doubles-doubles this season, including a 21-point and 24-rebound performance in a 124-117 win over the Washington Wizards during In-Season Tournament play earlier this season. With performances like this, it will not be too long before Williams no longer resides on the underrated end of the spectrum, becoming a well-known name and force to be reckoned with.
The record is not really what should be the focus in Charlotte this season. As unexciting as that proposition is, it is simply the reality for the Hornets in their current form. This season is about identifying foundational pillars that can be part of the next truly competitive team in Charlotte. Williams, alongside LaMelo Ball and possibly Brandon Miller, appears to be a solid foundation to work with moving forward.