>> According to a recent article in the Online Chicago Tribune, Williams
>>didn't turn down the Seattle offer because it wasn't enough money (I'd
>>agree that would have been foolish), but rather because the offer required
>>him to take and pass a physical. Williams had hurt his knee (probably
>>skydiving) and was hoping that someone would sign him to a big money deal
>>without requiring him to pass a physical.
>I thought the injury didn't occur until long after this.
Williams ... turned down the seven-year, $35 million deal Jim
McIlvaine signed with Seattle because he didn't want to take a physical.
That was because Williams had suffered further damage to his knee
last summer, possibly from hang gliding or skydiving. News of an operation
came out when Dallas was trying to deal for Williams earlier this season.
>As I recall,
>the Lakers were negotiating with Williams, in case the Shaq deal
>fell through. The Sonics offered Williams the MacIlvaine deal, but
>he deferred, wanting to wait and see what would happen with LA.
It's probably worth noting that only the first three years (and, I'm
presuming, about $11 million) of the Sonics' deal with McIlvaine was
guaranteed. The Sonics have the option to cancel the last four (and, I
presume, most expensive) years of the seven-year deal.
I can't really hazard a guess on whether Williams was or wasn't
reasonable in hoping that he could get a more lucrative guaranteed
contract. To my mind, an unguaranteed "back-end" is probably worth about
as much as "net points" on a movie deal.
>Sonics chose not to wait around and went ahead and signed their
>stiff. As the free agent $ dwindled, Williams still felt he
>deserved at least what Seattle had offered him, even if no team
>(other than the Clippers) could pay him that much.
>> By taking a role with the Bulls, I think that Williams has put his
>>name on the short list of just about every GM looking for a center. If
>>he continues to perform as he has during the past four games, I think he
>>moves to the top of a few of those lists.
>We'll see. I don't feel like he's distinguished himself. In his
>last season with the Clippers, he was a team leader, and scored and
>rebounded well. He was easily a top 10 center. You can't say that
I'm not entirely certain we could say "easily top 10" last year,
Doug Steele's NBA Stat page doesn't include Williams among the top
ten NBA Centers (ranked by Tendex) for the 1995-96 season, although he
didn't miss by much (10th place was 17.31 and Williams was 16.5) and did
rank 10th in offense.
> The question is whether that rep would have held up without
>him playing any this year.
My hunch (and that's pretty much all those of us who aren't GMs can
offer) is that there would have been severe question marks raised if
Williams hadn't played this season. By showing the ability to compete at
the highest level, I think Williams has assuaged a lot of those doubts.