When Stan Van Gundy traded for Reggie Jackson and Tayshaun Prince at the trade deadline, he essentially sent out all of his depth at small forward in the moves. Kyle Singler, Jonas Jerebko, and Luigi Datome all left Detroit, leaving only Caron Butler and Prince to fill the position. And Prince did not seem interested in being back in Detroit, instead expecting a buy out.
If Van Gundy had already shown an inclination toward journeymen in his acquisitions of D.J. Augustin, Cartier Martin, and Anthony Tolliver, it especially shined through in picking up Williams. In his ninth season after being drafted with the Indiana Pacers, the Pistons represented his seventh different NBA team, plus he had been waived by two others that he never actually played a game for. He also recently spent time in China and the NBA D-League.
Williams never made it easy for himself to stick with a team, regularly running into trouble with the law. He alienated himself in Indianapolis with three incidents over the course of a year. A couple of years later, it was a felony arrest in Memphis on drug charges involving codine. Then in 2012, it was more pot and codine that put him in handcuffs again.
Were it not for his troubles on the court, he's shown some flashes of being a useful player on the court at times through his career. In 2010-11 he averaged 7 points per game and shot 40 percent from three for Mike D'Antoni's New York Knicks. He was averaging 6.6 points per game and shooting 39.5 percent from three for the Heat when he was traded away. The two lines were the primary reason for Van Gundy giving him a try, receiving positive reports from D'Antoni.
But sandwiched in those good performances throughout his career were stinkers, and that was what the Pistons got out of Williams. In 19 games with Detroit, he shot just 31 percent and posted -.021 win shares per 48 minutes. Williams shot a lot of threes, as he seems to fancy himself something of a three point specialist, but connected on just 15 percent of them. By the end of the season, he thankfully lost his spot in the rotation to Quincy Miller.
Williams spent most of his time with the Pistons filling the stretch power forward role, especially while Greg Monroe was out with a sore knee. But he also has played small forward throughout his career, and both spots are areas of need for the Pistons next season.
Williams currently has a team option for next season worth $1.35 million. But with the wealth of better options available on the open market than a three point specialist who averages only 34 percent for his career from outside the arc, there should be little reason for the team to pick that option up.