With the season officially behind us, this is about the time we would normally begin looking forward to the draft. Actually, we normally would have been looking forward to the draft starting around February. But with the Sacramento Kings lacking a first round pick this year, we can spend a little more time than normal reflecting on the past season. We’re going to do this by grading every player on the roster, one at a time. The Sactown Royalty staff will provide their grades and thoughts, and we’ll have a poll and can discuss and debate.
Today we’re discussing Troy Williams. Troy was with the Kings on a two-way contract, so he only appeared in 21 games this year. Still, he averaged 5.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 0.5 assists.
A big part of my grades are based on expectations. I had none for Troy Williams when he was signed to a two-way contract. Nonetheless, Williams have the Kings respectable minutes. There were times this season that we openly asked why he wasn’t getting more minutes compared to other players. Troy was solid enough, certainly meeting expectations for his role, even if he wasn’t quite good enough to earn a permanent spot on the team.
Rob: D (League)
Having to grade Troy Williams is the ultimate front office troll job, and a microcosm of exactly how bad and thin this team was at small forward for the season. Williams managed more minutes than Carmelo Anthony played for Houston this year. Now, 312 minutes is not much. But a good team would be handing these minutes to end-of-the-bench-2nd-round-draft-pick fodder at the end of blowouts, not in the midst of a game where the outcome hangs in the balance. So I give Williams a D for his play, and the front office gets a note to take home from the teacher that they are failing at small forward.
Troy Williams is a hard player to put an exact grade on because he was a backup G-League small forward for a team that really needed a starter and often times I wanted him on the court than Justin Jackson behind Iman Shumpert. Williams was a player you never knew what to expect from. Either he made a really good play or a really bone-headed one, it was never in-between.
His jump shot wasn’t smooth but he showed the ability to finish at the rim and he could get rebounds, too. He was a huge reason for the success of the Stockton Kings however, even though that’s not what we’re grading.
I never expected Troy Williams to make an impact for the Kings, but he had a vital role in numerous wins this season. His struggle is not with basketball talent - it’s that his skillset is redundant across the NBA right now. The differences between his level of talent and a guy like Maurice Harkless are minute - but that incremental separation is what is preventing Troy Williams from sticking in the league. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Williams become a relevant player for a playoff team in the next few years - he has the tools, he just needs the right situation.
This series has taught me that I’m an easy grader. But a C has aways felt like a failure by my own standards — not that I didn’t rack up a bunch of them for myself as a teenager — and I just can’t put that mark on Troy Williams. For an undrafted cast-off plucked from the G-League, he performed well relative to expectations.
His low minutes total put him on the verge of an incomplete evaluation, but he averaged 16 minutes per contest when deployed in a crucial early stretch for Sacramento. The Kings had a winning record when his 45 days were up around Christmas. He certainly wasn’t a key factor in that, but his size and energy filled some cracks that could have eroded the team’s foundation over time.
And quite frankly, he matched the production of only other 6’8” guy on the roster (Justin Jackson) by most metrics, despite their difference in pedigree. The cavalry at small forward eventually arrived in the form of Harrison Barnes and Corey Brewer, but Williams held the line. Though none of his stats popped in Sacramento, his 20 points per game in Stockton suggest that he could still make it back into an NBA rotation one day.
I thought Troy Williams was a solid contributor to the Kings this season during an important stretch where they were trying to prove to the rest of the NBA that they were legit, and desperately needed some wing depth. Williams brought energy, toughness, size, and some surprisingly decent shooting early on in his Kings run. It wasn’t great, but it was enough to keep the Kings reasonably competent on the wing. I think we probably would have saw more of him if he didn’t run out of two-way dates and the Kings hadn’t traded for Harrison Barnes and signed Corey Brewer, essentially eliminating their need for what Williams provided.
I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear about Troy Williams, though. I’d welcome him back to Stockton with open arms, but he will probably get another NBA shot somewhere.
How would you grade Troy Williams’ season
This poll is closed