Las Vegas • While the Utah Jazz retained a (restricted) free agent in Gordon Hayward, they lost a key member of their roster from last season.
Marvin Williams left the Jazz for the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday, signing a two-year and $14 million contract with the Hornets, who were a playoff team a year ago.
“We’re happy for Marvin,” Utah General Manager Dennis Lindsey said. “He’s been a great person and a great player for us. We talked, and I told him that sometimes things come full circle. Maybe one day he can be in a Jazz uniform for us again.”
The offer from Charlotte was an appealing one. Williams played his college basketball at North Carolina, and the owner of the Hornets, Michael Jordan, is a Tar Heel alum.
Williams gives the Hornets the stretch power forward they lost when Josh McRoberts left for the Miami Heat. Williams isn’t as athletic as McRoberts. But he makes shots and is a locker-room presence.
Without Williams, Enes Kanter is now the undisputed starter at power forward. The Jazz could bring in free agent help, but have said they are committed to the overall team youth movement.
“Marvin really helped us out,” Lindsey said. “We repositioned to him to power forward and I think that helped him out some. He deserves this contract, and I’m very happy for him.”