Milwaukee Bucks: Assessing Marvin Williams’ value in free agency

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 01: (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 01: (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Marvin Williams’ time with the Milwaukee Bucks was only getting started, but he’ll eventually re-enter free agency where he’ll be met with a very uncertain market.

Marvin Williams‘ stint with the Milwaukee Bucks was only getting started before the 2019-20 season was suspended.

Having come to Milwaukee by way of a mid-season buyout immediately after this year’s trade deadline, Williams, like all of the Bucks players, is sitting on the sidelines hoping and waiting for any resumption to the season.

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Where Williams was viewed as the Bucks’ big reinforcement ahead of their playoff run after leaving the rebuilding Charlotte Hornets, the 33-year-old’s fate in Milwaukee wholly depends on whether the season resumes at some point due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Regardless of whether the season continues or not, Williams will hit the open market whenever the offseason begins under this new reality.

This new normal is bound to affect all NBA players as commissioner Adam Silver reportedly told the National Basketball Players Association as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday afternoon.

Williams is certain to be among the class of players that will be most affected by the coming financial crushes that Silver laid out that will affect the NBA at all levels.

Fortunately, Williams has developed into the consummate professional over his 15 years in the league and it’s certainly helped him earn plenty of rich deals over his time in the league. Per Basketball-Reference, Williams has made over $109 million over his time in the NBA, though it’s unknown how much money Williams gave back on his $15 million salary through his buyout with the Hornets earlier this year.

The point still stands that Williams has had the good fortune of making great money over his long-lasting NBA career. And still standing as a capable NBA veteran as all Bucks fans briefly saw before the season stoppage, Williams could easily continue his career when he re-enters free agency whenever the offseason truly begins.

However, the upcoming salary cap crunch that will face all NBA teams, as Marc Berman of the New York Post hinted at Saturday, will surely affect people of Williams’ stature in the league.

At this point, Williams is likely to play out out the rest of his NBA career on veteran minimum contracts and that may have been likely before even calculating how the season stoppage will affect the league’s revenue, the salary cap, and all sorts of avenues under the league’s control.

But the biggest question is whether Williams even looks to continue his career, regardless of whether this season picks back up again. The topic of retirement was one that the former Tar Heel has previously entertained this season as he talked about with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer earlier this season:

"“I’ll be honest with you, I’ve certainly thought about being done,” Williams, the Charlotte Hornets’ power forward, told the Observer on Tuesday.“I feel like that’s where I am right now: I could do it or I could not.”"

That’s certainly a weighty topic to consider and the fact that the current season and the Bucks’ pursuit of a championship has been derailed at this point is one circumstance that Williams certainly couldn’t have seen coming.

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Williams’ decision on his future surely depends on what happens with this season, but any hopes that he may have for making any meaningful money has been tempered at this point. And that’s when debating the biggest decision of his career will come to the fore once again.