Terrence Williams' Shot With The Kings Is Another Test Of Keith Smart's Mettle

The Sacramento Kings will reportedly add Terrence Williams on a 10-day contract, per Sam Amick of SI.com. Williams flamed out with the New Jersey Nets and flamed out with the Houston Rockets. There's absolutely no risk in offering a 10-day contract to a free agent -- even the worst men on Earth would have trouble spoiling a locker room in a week and a half -- but on the surface, there would seem to be little to no upside. Williams has only received minutes as a rookie, and his performance then wasn't great.

But a long, lovely comment by polotown in the first T-Will thread has me reconsidering the issue. An excerpt:

When he came to the NBA, he went into the highly disfunctional Nets and really believed that he was going to be "the man." He misbehaved, regularly showed up for practice late, and had a coach that reacted by "punishing" him, when he would really respond better to "you are better than that." In fact, specifically stated as intended to punish him, the Nets sent him off to the D League where he literally lit up the boards. They were embarassed into calling him back up, but the coach refused to play him. Another Nets coach continued on the same track, and he was traded to Houston.

Adelman doesn't have patience with those types of games and did not give him much of a shot. He started to play the same stuff with McHale, so McHale benched him. Smart has some successful experience dealing with this type of personality (DMC) but is it worth his time and energy?

polotown goes on to describe Williams' positive attributes, which are tantalizing. (Anyone who remembers Louisville's Final Four team knows what he's talking about.) The Keith Smart angle is interesting. If his strength as a coach is reaching and developing players with attitude issues -- he and assistant coach Stephen Silas receive credit for turning Monta Ellis around last season, and we've seen DeMarcus Cousins' 180 first-hand -- then it makes sense to to give him an opportunity to "rescue" the basketball career of a problem child ... especially when the cost is nil.

I have been as hard on Geoff Petrie as anyone, but to me, a move like this shows that the front office is trying to mix it up, and is aware of the Kings' need for additional assets, and is aware of Smart's talent as a communicator. Whether Williams actually reaches any sort of potential here or not, the idea that the team is making a calculated play for him is refreshing, to be frank. This isn't a Luther Head specialist grab, or something of that nature. This is basically the J.J. Hickson trade without the risk of losing a draft pick.

That said, one savvy low-dollar free agent pick-up doesn't excuse the myriad other problems with the front office. Sunshine does peak through clouds on occasion.

***

If nothing else, this is a funny way for Petrie to remind everyone that although he wasted a draft pick on Hickson, golden boy Daryl Morey wasted one on Williams. Everybody hurts.

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