It may have been a rough year for basketball in the Queen City, but at least there’s a young Hornet receiving some slight league-wide recognition.
Though Mark Williams was not selected to a 2022-23 Kia NBA All-Rookie team, he did receive two votes for the All-Rookie Second Team.
Had Williams broken into the rotation a bit earlier in the season, he could’ve earned the extra 46 votes needed to earn a spot on the Second Team. He finished the season with 43 games played (17 starts) and 828 total minutes, placing him 20th amongst all rookies in minutes load. Per-game averages of 9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1 block aren’t far off from Jalen Duren’s (9/9/1) or Walker Kessler’s (9/8/2) nightly output, but he received less than half of the total minutes they did.
The closest players to Williams in minutes played that also received votes are Dyson Daniels (1042 minutes) and Jaylin Williams (914 minutes), and Williams is nearly doubling their per-game numbers. He debuted in the rotation on Dec. 26, 2022, and started all but one of the games he appeared in after Feb. 10. Not only was he a leading contributor to Charlotte’s massively improved defense post-All-Star break as a drop coverage anchor and adept perimeter defender for a center, but he also flashed potential as a pick-and-roll finisher and lob threat with some intriguing scoring and passing upside to tap into.
The larger NBA community hasn’t gotten to see Williams as much as Hornets fans have, and that’s reflected in the vote count. Regardless, Charlotte can rest assured knowing the 21-year-old big man has a bright future ahead of him (quite literally, it seems).