Marvin Williams of Bremerton, former Eastern Washington standout Rodney Stuckey and ex-Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas each will be adjusting to new NBA teams this season.
Williams, previously with the Utah Jazz, will play for the Charlotte Hornets — nine years after helping North Carolina win the NCAA championship.
“North Carolina has always been like a second home to me,” Williams said Monday at an introductory news conference after signing a two-year, $14 million deal.
Williams, 28, returns with a chance to make an immediate impact as a starter. Hornets coach Steve Clifford views the 6-foot-9 Williams as a combo forward, but said his best position is at power forward.
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Stuckey, 28, is moving from the Detroit Pistons to the Indiana Pacers, who lost Lance Stephenson. Stuckey, a graduate of Kentwood High School in Covington, signed a one-year contract.
“We just have to come out and play hard and play with each other,” guard Stuckey said of the improved Central Division. “I’m glad LeBron (James) went back to Cleveland; I thought that was good for him and the city of Cleveland. Chicago got better, but I think we still have a pretty good chance to make some noise.”
Thomas, a 25-year-old from Tacoma, is going from Sacramento to the Phoenix Suns. He was acquired in a sign-and-trade deal this month and has a four-year, $27 million contract.
“I value myself as a starter,” he said, “but when it comes down to winning, I’ll do anything it takes to win.”
The Suns use a double point-guard system and envision a rotation between Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe and Thomas.
Coach Jeff Hornacek calls it “a three-headed monster” at guard with two of the three on the court at any given time.
“There’s going to be two of those guys on the court at all times,” Hornacek said, “and when that happens teams are going to really have to plan for that.”
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