He's the first-round draft pick that haunts Larry Bird's dreams. And he continues to fall further and further away from any type of NBA future.
Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird admitted during his end of the year press conference that drafting Shawne Williams with the 17th pick in the 2006 draft was a "mistake" and that he won't ever do it again. Good news for Pacers fans. But Williams is still in the news as one of the team's most wasteful draft picks of the decades, and maybe more.
Williams pleaded guilty to four misdemeanor drug offenses on Friday morning, according to the Memphis Commercial Apeal. He plead guilty to possession and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance, the pain reliever and cough suppressant hydrocodone. He was placed on judicial diversion, which is a special form of probation in which a defendant's record can be cleared by good behavior for a specified period and meeting other conditions of the court, until Oct. 1. The 24-year-old Williams was one of 24 defendants indicted in January in a seven-month police narcotics investigation called "Operation Lockdown." No doubt a defensive operation that coach Jim O'Brien should study.
More after the jump.
Williams was released from the New Jersey Nets at the beginning of the season when he was arrested. He didn't play a minute of NBA basketball in the 2009-10 season, although he still pulled in $2.42 million from his rookie contract signed with the blue and gold. After spending his first two years with Indiana, Williams played one season with the Mavericks (15 games). It could be the last NBA minutes he ever plays.
Yet his attorney says the dream is still alive for the young'n, who is training in Florida.
"He'll be playing summer leagues and doing tryouts," Attorney Howard Manis said. "He's trying to get back in the league."
Williams has a career average of 5.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg, and a 42.5 field goal percentage. He shot only 28.6 percent from the field with Dallas. Williams is still one of the biggest whiffs, of several, that Bird has made in his tenure at Indiana. Let's hope he remains the biggest and this summer's guy isn't added to the list.
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We're not ready for a done deal
The Indy Star's Editorial Board tackles the CIB and Pacers negotiations again.