Multiple NBA sources have reported that 2009 lottery pick Terrence Williams has been working out for several teams this week, including the Pistons.
After playing 12 games for Houston and 18 games for Sacramento last season, the former Louisville star forward has been trying to find a team after a strong second half. In those games with the Kings, he averaged 9.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 45.4% shooting in just 21.7 minutes.
Physical talent has never been a problem for Williams, something that he showed in those few games with the Kings. His basketball IQ and decision-making on and off the court, however, have caused him to become an afterthought for the three teams he’s played for in his short career.
His rookie season of 2009-10 saw him play in 78 of the team’s 82 games, quickly becoming an important part of the team’s rotation. In the final two months of that campaign, he averaged 14.2 points, 5.6 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 44% shooting, including one triple-double against the Bulls (27 points, 10 assists, 13 rebounds) and almost another two in the next two games (15/7/8 against the Pacers; 21/6/13 versus the Bobcats). It’s worth noting that current Pistons head coach Lawrence Frank was Williams’ head coach during that rookie season.
Again, the unique physical gifts that Williams possessed coming out of Louisville haven’t left him, but the fact that he got sent to the NBDL for tardiness and “misbehavior” show that he still hasn’t grasped the whole “professionalism” thing.
Another thing going against Williams possibly joining the Pistons is the fact that the team has a full 15-man roster and a logjam at small forward. Unless a trade is made or someone is released, there just wouldn’t be room for the hyper-athletic wingman. One name that has been mentioned numerous times this offseason in regards to being cut is Austin Daye, the 6’11” forward who struggled mightily last season.
Nearly every other player on the roster that shares the wing position with Williams (Corey Maggette, Khris Middleton, Tayshaun Prince, Kyle Singler) is someone that will be used to shed cap space next offseason, is a solid veteran presence or is a rookie that the team has deemed worthy of a roster spot. Should the Pistons be actually interested in acquiring Williams, Daye could the one who gets the boot from Joe Dumars.
Like most young players, Williams has his positives and negatives. The behavioral issues are troubling, sure, but his type of athleticism is not common and he could fit in well with the team’s young, fast core. The Pistons would be wise to take a flier on the third-year forward, even if it’s just for training camp and preseason.