Another product of the prolific North Carolina factory of NBA players, Williams completed his four-year stint with the Tar Heels and rewarded with a second-round selection by the Atlanta Hawks in the 1998 draft. He averaged 16.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists his senior year.
Williams established himself in the NBA over a six-year tenure (playing for six different teams), only interrupted by a brief experience in the Turkish league. His best campaign was the 2002/03 season, when he played 78 games and averaged 8 points and 3.4 assists.
Back in Europe in the 2004/05 season, he fell for the riches of the Russian league, signing with Unics Kazan. He oddly received a passport from the Republic of Georgia, which made him a very valuable in Europe and then moved to Winterthur F.C.Barcelona, one of the traditional European powerhouses, last summer. In the ACB League, he averaged 12.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and a whooping 5.2 assists in less than 30 minutes per game, although losing in the semifinals cant be anything than a disappointment for this team. In the Euroleague he delivered similar stats with 12.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists, helping his team reach the Final Four.
Its also interesting to note that Williams acquired the Georgian citizenship because of his teammate in Orlando Magic Zaza Pachulia, so he could join (and help) the Georgian National Team. Despite his participation, Georgia couldnt manage to qualify for the 2005 Eurobasket, despite seeing 20 points and 7.4 assists from Williams.
A clear-cut American-style point guard, Williams is extremely hard to stop whenever he tries to step into the lane. Enjoying terrific handles, his excellent quickness and strength do the rest to allow him to get by most of his defenders. You can see there the heritage of his pretty big NBA experience in how bulked he is.
Despite not being a pure point, Williams is a very nice passer. Playing the pick and roll or dishing while penetrating, he shows decent court vision and some ability to find the open man.
More of a scorer than a passer, Williams gets his points either slashing or shooting the ball. His jumper is pretty reliable and shows nice range. He has consistently shot over 40% from behind the arc since coming to Europe. His jumper is not very easy to contest, because he delivers it with ease off the dribble, and is highly unpredictable.
Williams enjoys the physical attributes to be a nice defender (quickness, strength and enough size for a PG), and indeed hes a decent one. Besides, he helps his teams by going after defensive rebounds.
Like we see so often these days, particularly from New York City point guards, Shammond Williams is another scoring guard in the body of a point guard. This gets severely exposed in his decision making skills, which is very inconsistent. Despite having improved through the season in F.C.Barcelona, and beyond the impressive assist numbers he achieved this season in the ACB league, Williams never managed to settle down as a reliable playmaker, basically rushing things in the offense, taking ill-advised shots, and forgetting that he should be the man who has the game under control. All in all, hes not a floor general, abusing of his off-the-dribble skills, and severely lacking a high basketball IQ.
Theres not much more to say about his flaws, although considering hes a point guard, its a pretty big knock on his game. In the line with his playmaking style, he could certainly benefit from better shot selection, as well as an extra degree of intensity on defense.
At the age of 31 hes already a veteran, but considering his NBA experience he dont need any time to adapt, as he looks physically at full strength.
Why sign him?
Williams playmaking style probably fits better in the NBA than in Europe. Hes a proven player with some serious experience in the NBA, and it appears that his European tenure may have helped him to mature a little bit and become a better player. Physically, he can keep up against virtually any competition, and he will make his open shots and can pass the rock. Given the lack of point guards that the league suffers from, particularly on the free agent market, he can be a relatively valuable one in the market.
Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly close to sign him a deal. Its a nice situation for him, and he might even have the chance to crack into the starting five, given how the Lakers have struggled at that position the last season. Playing in Phil Jackson and Tex Winters triangle offense, his lack of pure playmaking skills becomes less of an issue.