Williams is one of the top wings in the D-League, but this call-up is still a bit of a surprise. For one, the fact that Williams was called up by the Pacers is nothing short of shocking since almost all of Marcus’ NBA ties have been with the San Antonio Spurs. Williams’ entire D-League career has been with the Spurs-affiliated Austin Toros, a team to which Williams returned after playing most of this season in China. Part of me always assumed that with the flurry of D-League call-ups in San Antone, Williams would be next on the list after he made his stateside return.
Not so, and now Williams will finish out the season with the Pacers after a short stint back in Austin. The move is also a bit surprising given how difficult it is for scoring wing players to find call-up opportunities. Marcus doesn’t fit that mold as well as say, Morris Almond, but he’s still a high usage player that will be put in low usage situations on the next level. Lots of teams could use an extra point guard or an extra big man, but how many are really desperate for a shooting guard that’s going to put up points and use up shot attempts?
What makes Williams so unique though, is that he’s not just a high-scoring off-guard. He’s a good rebounder for his position (6.8 RPG over his career with the Toros), a pretty decent defender, an efficient scorer (.563 FG% this season), and get this: a point guard prospect. Williams hasn’t had a ton of pro experience running the point, but he’s surprisingly capable of running an offense.
He also has one particular trait that should make him particularly palatable to Pacers fans: he’s not Dahntay Jones. That’s reason enough for the signing right there.
The Pacers are likely using the final games of the regular season to get a good look at Williams before summer. It shouldn’t surprise you to see Williams pop up on the Pacers’ summer league team or in their training camp in the fall, as the franchise is doing the work now to see how he performs against NBA competition and how he gels with the existing core (if you could call it that) in Indiana.