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What could Shawne Williams bring to the HEAT?

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The unexpected signing of the 6'9" swingman gives the Miami HEAT more wing depth. What does the 27-year-old bring to the table?

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In an rather unexpected move considering the relative tranquility the NBA offseason had finally reached, the Miami HEAT quietly signed forward Shawne Williams. The 6'9" Williams was the 17th pick in the 2006 NBA draft, selected by the Pacers and was expected to quickly develop not unlike how Paul George (picked 10th) eventually did. Unfortunately, minutes were sparse for Williams and he was traded after two disappointing seasons with the Pacers that also featured a marijuana arrest. After a brief stint in Dallas, Williams took a year off from the NBA (after the New Jersey Nets waived him in 2009-2010) and in joined the New York Knicks before the start of the 2010-2011 season.


Shawne Williams Knicks Mix

In New York, Williams reinvented himself as a stretch four and shot a career best 40% from beyond the arc on 3.3 attempts a game. The midseason acquisition of superstar forward Carmelo Anthony did not negatively impact Williams role on the team. In fact, it actually seemed to benefit him as he averaged 18 minutes per game before Carmelo was acquired 24.3 minutes after (likely due to the hoard of players New York forfeited to Denver and the lack of depth resulting from the trade).

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Shawne Williams 2010-2011 Shot Chart & Shot Distribution

Williams excelled from the corners and took nearly 40% of his shots from there, but was middling elsewhere. Furthermore, he's shown to be a pretty good rebounder, averaging 6.6 rebounds per 36 minutes for his entire career. He's not someone who can break down a defense and consistently create his own shot, nor is he a particularly good finisher, but at his absolute best, he can easily fit into a role not unlike the one served by Shane Battier or Rashard Lewis

Unfortunately, Williams followed up his New York campaign with a horrendously bad season for the New Jersey Nets, who signed him to a two year contract that paid him approximately $5.6 million dollars. Williams shot an unfathomably bad 28.6% from the field and 24% from beyond the arc (on 3.5 attempts!!!!) yet still somehow managed to average 20 minutes a game.

After New Jersey cut ties (traded to Portland and waived), Williams spent a year in China and returned to the NBA this past season, joining the Lakers and surprisingly started the first five games of the year. Williams shooting went from appalling to merely bad in Los Angeles and he averaged 8 rebounds per 36 minutes. With how bizarre the Lakers roster and season went, Williams was oddly waived and later resigned to a 10 day contract. After the 10 day expired, Williams season was over as the Lakers did not renew it. In total, he played 36 games and started for 13 of them.

But Williams wasn't done with basketball that season. He joined the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D League and excelled. He played in 23 games (21 starts) and averaged 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.09 blocks, 1.7 assists and 31.5 minutes while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 41.8 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent from the foul line.

Seemingly overqualified for the D-League, Williams hopes to impress the HEAT brass enough for him to earn a roster spot (Miami now has 13 players signed. 15 is max). He'll have to show that he can hit the three ball and defend multiple positions for the HEAT to give him any further consideration. Furthermore, this would seemingly put an end to the Michael Beasley era (part deux) in Miami as Miami's glut of forwards is even greater now and Beasley interestingly had worked out in Los Angeles.