“It’s great to get a win for this city and really play for the jersey that’s across your chest, not the one on your back,” Williams said. “So, I was fortunate to be part of a team that really wanted to win. It was super exciting, the playstyle was fun, everybody touched the ball… We trusted one another. A team that had never played with each other or practiced with one another, every single person seemed like they had each other’s back.”
Saying he is now with a group that plays for the name that’s on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back, has been perceived as a shot at Doncic. The Mavericks could be accused of being a bit too Luka-centric, as he is so ball-dominant. The style of play isn’t exactly free-flowing, and Williams sees a big change now that is on the Hornets.
As for how his debut went, the 25-year-old finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist while going 5-11 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc. The Hornets won 115-106, and the result snapped their 10-game losing streak, as they improved to 11-41.
Grant Williams Had Spoken On What It’s Like To Play With Luka Doncic
What makes these statements a bit puzzling, however, is some comments the now-Hornets forward had made prior to the trade. Williams explained just how easy life is on the court when describing what it’s like to play with Doncic.
“Luka kind of sets you up where you don’t have to do much—just eat a bag of popcorn, knock down some open shots, and move on,” Williams said.
Unfortunately, Williams didn’t do a good enough job of knocking down those open shots. In his short stint with the Mavericks, he averaged 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game while shooting 41.3% from the field.
Williams didn’t end up having much of an impact on the defensive end either. It was why the Mavericks shipped him out of town despite just landing him on a four-year, $53 million sign-and-trade deal this past offseason. They had seen enough and sent him along with Seth Curry and their 2027 first-round pick to the Hornets for P.J. Washington and two second-round picks.
Luka Doncic On The Importance Of Being Vocal About Trades
It is safe to say Doncic wasn’t exactly losing any sleep over the team trading away Williams. Luka was happy with the moves made by the Mavericks at the trade deadline, as they acquired Washington and Daniel Gafford. He also indicated that he played a part in the decision-making process, as Doncic opened up on the importance of being vocal about the Mavericks’ roster moves.
“You can see how important it is. You can see the impact [Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington] have, so I think it’s really important.”
The Mavericks, who are now 30-23 on the season, certainly did get better with the moves they made, and they do have the potential to make some noise in the playoffs. While the likes of Washington and Gafford will have key roles to play, Dallas ultimately goes as far as Doncic takes them. The 24-year-old is having an excellent season, with averages of 34.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, 9.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game.
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