Last Friday, Knicks 101 suggested the New York Knicks should sign free agent forward Shawne Williams. He's a solid defender who can shoot threes and play either forward position. Now we learn that he will indeed work out for the Knicks in hopes of landing a contract.
Shawne Williams has a lot of skills for a basketball player but also a lot of baggage off the court. The former New York Knicks' forward seems to have regained his focus and is back in playing shape. He's only 27 years old, with the ability to play either forward position.
Williams is 6'9", 230 pounds and was drafted 17th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He played for Indiana from 2006-08, the Dallas Mavericks from 2008-10, the New York Knicks from 2010-11 and the New Jersey Nets from 2011-12. However, his best season in the NBA came as a member of the Knicks during the 2010-11 season.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reports Williams will work out for the Knicks, possibly as early as Monday, in hopes of landing with the team.
According to his agent, Happy Walters, Williams will work out for the Knicks in the coming days, and a source said the workout will be Monday. The Knicks are trying to add more scoring pop to the roster at the small-forward position now that Carmelo Anthony is viewed as their power forward.
Williams, despite baggage that included multiple arrests on drug charges, prospered at the Garden in his lone season in 2010-11, when he was a threat as a 3-point shooter and an excellent defender. He likely will be available for the veteran minimum of $1.4 million.
The Knicks were disappointed when Williams left after the 2010-11 season in favor of the New Jersey Nets. That being said, it was the right move for him. He landed a contract with an extra year than what New York was offering.
However, his stint with the Nets was a failed one and after one season filled with injuries he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers. Williams sat out last season with a foot surgery.
With Williams ability to play defense and play small forward of the stretch-power forward position he seems to be an amazing match for the Knicks needs. Especially at his price tag.
However, the thing that may prevent the reunion from happening is another player that can do the same things — minus the defense of course. That would be Chris Copeland. Now, Copeland is a free agent and he may go elsewhere. However, if he stays he is a budding player who can shot from all over the court for New York. For Williams to get playing time he'd have to beat Copeland out for it.
Of course you could argue that they could play together since they can both play either forward position. The sad fact though is that today players want as much of a guarantee as possible. Williams would rather have no reason to worry about his playing time.
The reality is, he has to earn it like everyone else. The fact he's had drug problems is just more reason for him to have to earn it. If the Knicks are able to get Williams on contract they'd add a player perfectly fit for their team. He has the ability to play defense on multiple position and he can drain the three. Hopefully it happens. He's the exact kind of player the Knicks need to find for minimum contracts this off-season.