Shawne Williams wasn’t expected to make much of an impact on the Los Angeles Lakers, but his outside shooting led to early minutes. He was waived later in the season and spent time in the D-League after injuries forced the team to look for more guards. Williams was well-liked by Coach Mike D’Antoni, who wanted him on the court to provide better spacing. But Williams was a valuable member of the team outside of shooting, and should be given another chance.
Williams had some off-the-court issues prior to joining the Lakers, but has matured greatly. His teammates liked playing with him, and were disappointed when he was waived. He was one to stand up for the team, and was willing to do what was necessary to win. He doesn’t need the ball to be successful, and would always work hard on the court, something that might not have been said earlier in his career.
Williams also possesses a unique skill set. He may not be an everyday rotation player, but he has a decent touch from outside, and can be a tough player due to his size. On defense, he is capable of guarding players on the wing and on the block. He has enough athleticism to keep up with small forwards, but can still match up with taller players. This versatility can be extremely useful when the team runs into foul trouble.
The Lakers should strongly consider bringing back Williams for the minimum. He can be a valuable piece on the court and in the locker room. He is familiar with the organization and understands the expectations. He may not be the superstar that they are looking for, but he can be a solid piece to the puzzle moving forward.