Hornets' Mark Williams recipient of high praise from veteran teammate

Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets v Washington Wizards / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Charlotte Hornets center Mark Williams is someone who has mostly flown under the radar when evaluating the NBA landscape. The second-year center may evade the attention of most but has been able to catch the eye of one of his veteran teammates.

When speaking with HoopsHype, veteran Hornets forward Gordon Hayward would heap praise upon the 22-year-old big man, at one point comparing Williams to his former teammate in Utah, Rudy Gobert. Hayward would note his feel on defense, in addition to his timing on that end of the floor, as reasons why he is so complimentary. 

"Initially, he’s young and kind of like Bambi out there, but you can’t teach that defensive feel where they have good timing and know when to help or when to play cat and mouse."

Gordon Hayward on Mark Williams

It is these reasons why Hayward believes that Williams has a bright future while still acknowledging he has still has some room to improve his overall skillset. The good thing for the former Duke Blue Devil is that it appears that this is the first step of what should be many in his career.

Williams has seen his averages increase from 9 points and 7.4 rebounds as a rookie to 13.2 points and 10.1 rebounds in his second season. This is a pretty impressive step from someone who was firmly planted in a bench role for the majority of his first professional season.

Charlotte seeing the emergence of another young player on their roster is one of the limited brightspots on an otherwise disappointing start to the 2023-24 season. The Hornets are not more than likely not going to be in a position to contend for anything of consequence this season, so it is important to shift the focus from short-term goals to those which will impact future seasons.

Having a consistent and reliable presence at the center postion should make it easier for everyone else on the court to operate accordingly. Williams appears to be on the trajectory to a well above average starter in this league, the exact caliber of player that the Hornets need more of.