July 1, 2016, in the NBA is a twisted lovechild Christmas Day and Black Friday.
After months of wishes and tweets to the Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, about whom he should sign in the offseason, you finally get to check your Twitter feed that magical morning to see the newest guy or guys who will don the ketchup and mustard.
One of the most heavily rumored apples of Morey's eye will be longtime flirt Ryan Anderson. And while he will get paid this offseason, I am hoping it won't be by the Rockets.
Anderson is a good player and a guy who can stretch the floor, but he isn't much of an asset on the defensive end of the floor. He also has some injury concerns: only one time in his seven-year career has he played more than 67 games.
When I put on my GM hat, I am not the guy who is going to overpay for a breakdown waiting to happen. I am not going to get stuck holding the bag...er, contract in this situation.
The Rockets should be targeting Marvin Williams in free agency. Williams is not as sexy of a name as Anderson but he is every bit the player, if not better and maybe cheaper. On average in the past three seasons, he is shooting 37% from three. Last year was only his first season shooting 40% from three, but he has grown on offensive considering where he was when he first came into the league with the Atlanta Hawks back in 2005.
I don't like to use the label "role player" but when looking at what Williams does, he is pretty much exactly that. He is not going to command the ball and just jack up shots all over the place. He understands his job and does it well, be it following shots for an offensive rebound and a putback, hitting the open corner three or just simply creating spacing.
On the defensive end, he won't be mistaken for a defensive player of the year, but he does enough not to make you question why he's on the floor. He can guard multiple positions on the wing and inside, he will get bullied by bigger posts but the league is trending smaller and smaller so that is not as big a concern.
When playing with James Harden you need guys like Williams who will just do his job — no more, no less.
With the Rockets wanting to play up and down basketball, Williams will fit in. On the Charlotte Hornets last year ,Williams took and made the most "spot up" shots on the team (136-328 - 41.5 percent). In Mike D'Antoni's system, there will be a whole lot of those type of shots to go around.
Not many players on the Rockets next year will be creating their own shots, most will be making shots that Harden has created for them. Be it a kick out from a drive to the rim or just a set play, there will be a plenty on "spot up" shots to go around.
Williams wouldn't be the Houston Rockets' first choice, and maybe not even their second choice. But if you strike out on the top options, you won't find a better stretch four than Williams.
Anderson is far and away going to be the Rockets first choice, I think, but when you break down the two players, not much else separates the two.
For years, the Rockets have needed a power forward. Hell, it seems every year they draft at least one in the hopes that they will hit the jackpot. They haven't, so this has to be the year that they finally pony up the cash to pay for one.
If the Rockets are going to back up a Brinks truck to a power forward this year, give it to a guy who you can count on for 70 plus games a year. Give it to a guy who isn't absolutely awful on the defensive end of the floor. Give it to a guy who has gotten better year in and year out. Give it to a guy who can be a missing piece on a playoff contender. Give it to Marvin Williams.