Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Better luck with this Sean Williams?
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- A few years ago the Dallas Mavericks didn't have much success with a young, troubled player named Shawne Williams, who still didn't get it in Dallas and was rather quickly shown the door out of town.
Now comes a similar story in newly signed center/power forward Sean Williams.
The former 17th pick in the 2007 draft was a star at nearby Mansfield High School and then he took his talents to Boston College. His pro career has been a self-inflicted train wreck. Now 25 and his NBA days dangling by a thread, Williams has a chance to resuscitate his career the way Shawne Williams has managed to work his way back first with the New York Knicks before recently signing a free-agent deal with the New Jersey Nets.
Sean Williams is coming because the Mavs need help at center behind starter Brendan Haywood. The 6-foot-10, 235-pound Williams will be given the opportunity to push energetic, but still developing French center Ian Mahinmi for backup minutes. Williams is considered a big-time shot-blocker and solid defender and rebounder.
"I saw him play some in the D-League last year with Frisco," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He’s a skilled, athletic, multi-positional big guy and has experience, so we’re going to take a look at him."
Williams, who was playing in Israel and was been released from his contract to return to the NBA, is expected to join the Mavs on Wednesday. He won't have the benefit of a playing in either preseason game and will have just a couple of practices under his belt by Sunday's season-opener.
Williams' problems have revolved around dalliances with marijuana and some poor, off-court behavior and immature decision-making. He played just 53 games combined in his last two seasons after a rather successful rookie campaign in 2007-08 when he played in 72 games and averaged 5.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in 17.5 minutes.
The Mavs got a look at him last season as a player for the Donnie Nelson-owned Texas Legends. If Williams can take advantage of his fresh NBA start back home, he can certainly become a contributor for a team that lost its best interior defender and rebounder in Tyson Chandler.
If he doesn't, the Mavs won't be shy about giving this Sean Williams the Shawne Williams treatment.