AP Source: Hornets agree to deal with Williams
After losing out on Gordon Hayward, the Charlotte Hornets landed one of his former teammates with the Utah Jazz.
The Hornets agreed to a $14 million, two-year contract with free-agent forward Marvin Williams, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Saturday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been made public. The person says it will be signed next week.
The 6-foot-9, 237-pound Williams has played nine seasons in the NBA with the Jazz and Atlanta Hawks. He averaged 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 66 games for Utah last season, including 50 starts.
The 28-year-old Williams is averaging 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds for 626 career games.
The deal for Williams comes on the same day the Jazz announced they decided to match Charlotte's $63 million, four-year offer sheet to Hayward, a restricted free agent.
Hayward posted to Twitter: "Officially back with the @utahjazz!!!! Wanna thank them and all of #jazznation for believing in me! Lots of work ahead..."
The Hornets view Williams as a potential replacement for power forward Josh McRoberts, who previously agreed to a contract with Miami. Williams is also versatile enough to play small forward.
McRoberts' departure left the Hornets extremely thin at power forward and in need of some veteran help. Charlotte's only two power forwards on the roster were Cody Zeller, who is entering his second season, and Noah Vonleh, the ninth overall pick in this year's draft.
Coach Steve Clifford said Friday the loss of McRoberts was a "big hit" for Charlotte, calling him a valuable "connector" for the team.
"Not many guys of his size make the game easy for his teammates the way he does" Clifford said. "Not just offensively, but defensively, too. But I've said to his (now former) teammates that's what this league is about. We have other good players and we're still in the process of adding other players to our roster.
"What it will mean is, particularly on offensive part of the floor, we'll have to do things in a different way. No question he was a big part of what we did. Doesn't mean we have to take a step back, but we have to change."
Williams' addition should be popular among area Tar Heel fans.
Williams played college basketball at North Carolina, the same school as Hornets owner Michael Jordan, and helped the Tar Heels to a national championship as a freshman in 2005. He was the second overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft.
Also Saturday, the Hornets announced they had acquired guard Scotty Hopson and cash considerations from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for center Brendan Haywood, finalizing a draft-night deal. The Cavaliers received the draft rights to forward Dwight Powell, the 45th overall pick.
The 6-foot-7 Hopson missed the entire 2013-14 season due to a stress fracture in his left foot.