INITIAL JULY 29 NEWS (SEE UPDATE BELOW): The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: Marcus Williams, who opened some eyes playing for the Grizzlies’ summer league team in Las Vegas earlier this month, could be joining the team in a more official capacity within the next few days. Calvin Andrews, Williams’ agent, said this afternoon that he feels “confident” that Williams will sign a 1-year deal with the Grizzlies. “We’re very close,” Andrews said. “They like some of the things he can do to help the team, to get the ball in the right places.”
AUGUST 6 UPDATE: GRIZZLIES SIGN MARCUS WILLIAMS
The Memphis Grizzlies added depth to the team’s backcourt by signing free agent point guard and 2009 NBA Summer League standout Marcus Williams, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.
“The addition of Marcus Williams not only adds depth to our point guard position, but also gives the team a very skilled passer,” Wallace said. “Marcus excels at getting easy baskets for his teammates. His teammates will enjoy playing with him.”
The three-year NBA veteran averaged 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and a league-leading 8.2 assists (shared with Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings) in helping lead the Grizzlies to a perfect 5-0 record in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last month.
The 6-3, 205-pound guard began and finished his summer league in memorable fashion, recording a Vegas-record 17 assists in the opener on July 12 vs. Oklahoma City and then made the game-winning field goal with 0.4 seconds remaining in the summer finale on July 19 vs. San Antonio.
The 23-year-old playmaker holds career averages of 6.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 15.8 minutes in 141 games (nine starts) with the New Jersey Nets (2006-08) and Golden State Warriors (2008-09). Williams was originally selected by New Jersey with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft and was named to the 2006-07 NBA All-Rookie Second Team after recording 6.8 points and 3.3 assists in 79 games in his rookie season.
Last season, Williams averaged 1.3 points and 1.4 assists in 6.0 minutes in nine games for the Warriors before finishing the year in Puerto Rico, recording 16.8 points and a league-best 9.0 assists in 33.5 minutes in 34 games with the Quebradillas Pirates.
The Los Angeles, Calif. native averaged 9.0 points and a school-record 7.3 assists in 26.1 minutes in 70 games (51 starts) over three seasons (2003-06) at the University of Connecticut, where he teamed with current Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay for two seasons (2004-06). While at UConn, Williams posted the first-ever triple-double for a Huskies player in conference play with 18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds on Feb. 21, 2006 vs. Notre Dame.
Williams also joined Gay as part of the 2005 USA Men’s U21 World Championship Team, where he led the squad in minutes (20.4) and averaged 4.1 points and 4.1 assists in eight games.
The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 12 players.