The Jazz announced Friday that forward Marvin Williams will undergo surgery on Monday to repair his right heel and Achilles tendon. He is expected to be sidelined for approximately six months.
Williams, 26, averaged 7.2 points and 3.6 points in 23.7 minutes and posted a PER of 10.9 -- all career-lows -- in 2012-13, his first season in Utah. In March, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin moved Williams out of the starting lineup, eventually turning over the starting job and additional playing time to third-year wing Gordon Hayward.
The recovery timeline announced by the Jazz would place Williams' expected return date in early December, meaning he will miss training camp, preseason and roughly the first month of the 2013-14 regular season. Williams holds a player option worth $7.5 million for next season and he will surely be looking at a large per-year pay cut on his next deal. One would think the timing and severity of this surgery would make his free-agency decision a simple one: opt in, get fully healthy, finish next season strong and pursue a new contract next summer.
The Jazz are clearly a team in transition this summer, as veterans Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Randy Foye are all headed to unrestricted free agency while the organization's younger faces -- Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and Hayward -- eagerly eye the possibility of larger roles next year and beyond.
After missing out on the playoffs by two games, Utah holds the No. 14 pick in this year's draft, and could use the selection to address the small forward position, as Williams wasn't necessarily intended to be a long-term solution when he was acquired for Devin Harris in a 2012 trade with the Hawks. The Jazz also have significant cap flexibility to overhaul their roster in free agency this summer and would seem motivated to retain DeMarre Carroll, who briefly stepped into Williams' starting role before Hayward later claimed it. Put it all together and Williams seems slightly stuck between the organization's present and future. Regardless of how the next few months play out, the Jazz will open next season with a taste of what life will be like without him. Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2005 draft, holds career averages of 11 points and 5.1 rebounds over eight seasons.