By Marcus Thompson
Friday, October 31st, 2008 at 11:09 am in Uncategorized.
According to a source close to point guard Marcus Williams, the Warriors are not going to pick up the option of the third-year guard out of UConn, meaning he will become a free agent at the end of the season and the Warriors will not have to spend the just over $2 million on Williams next season.
The Warriors had until today to pick up the options for next season on Williams, guard Marco Belinelli and forward Brandan Wright. The Warriors will pick up the options the $2.7 million option on Wright and the $1.5 million option on Belinelli.
Williams, who was drafted No. 22 overall by New Jersey in 2006, was acquired by the Warriors in a trade this offseason. He was expected to back-up point guard Monta Ellis. Then he was the odds-on favorite to start when Ellis went down with an injury.
But Williams is currently the fourth-string point guard, behind undrafted rookie DeMarcus Nelson, second-year man C.J. Watson and G/F Stephen Jackson. Williams, in the mind of coach Don Nelson has been a disappointment. He didn’t play at all in the season opener.
“In some respects, it grants him his freedom, because at the end of the year he’ll be unrestricted. So that’s a good thing,” the source said. “The negative, which I think is unfair, is that there may be a mischaracterization of his talent. He hasn’t gotten any time. It’s an unfair assessment in our opinion. Maybe he didn’t pick things up right away … but with his experience, you’d think he could help this team.”
Not picking up Williams’ option is a sign the Warriors aren’t convinced he will pan out, as was the case with center Patrick O’Bryant, whose option the Warriors declined to pick up last season. This also means the Warriors might be willing to move Williams, who is making $1.2 million this season. He and beleaguered forward Al Harrington might be a package another team may be interested in. Another option is to come to a buyout agreement, or the Warriors could just waive Williams and eat the money.