Most of the off season focus on the Utah Jazz has been on restricted free agent Gordon Hayward, however, another free agent from last season’s roster is starting to gain some attraction as well.
Reported by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, Marvin Williams met with the Miami Heat on Saturday in North Carolina.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 6, 2014
Williams is coming off a year with the Jazz where he had to bounce back from an Achilles injury the year before. Williams appeared in 66 games for the Jazz in 2013-14 and averaged 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game playing primarily as a “stretch four” type player. Williams shot the ball very well, going 43.9% from the field and 35.9% from beyond the three point line.
The Heat are in an interesting position. After LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all opted out of the final year of their contract, they have a record $55 million in cap space this off season. The hope for the Heat is to be able to re-sign all three of their star players.
Once the Heat do re-sign all three, which they are confident they will do, they need another player to play alongside them that can help push them towards a third NBA championship in five seasons. Along with Williams, the Heat have also had talks with Cleveland Cavaliers free agent, Luol Deng. The better fit for the Heat might be Deng, but he would also come at a more expensive price than Williams would.
The Jazz and Williams have both been rumored to have mutual interest in him returning to Utah, however, with the interest that Williams is gaining from other teams, it might be more of a challenge to bring him back. The Jazz’s interest in bringing Williams back to Utah may have lessened a bit once they traded for the three point shooting specialist, Steve Novak. However, Novak is more of a role player off the bench, rather than a starter alongside the young core of the Jazz.
One thing to keep an eye on in this scenario, is that the Jazz do own the “bird rights” to Williams and could come up with a sign-and-trade scenario that both sides like. The Jazz could possibly be interested in Norris Cole for Williams, but that is all speculation.
There was no details of the meeting other than the two sides had met, but my best guess is that the Heat are looking at other options to fill roster spots if Pat Riley‘s plan A doesn’t quite pan out.