Western Notes: Z. Williams, Suns, Kings, Blazers

Second-year wing Ziaire Williams might be the key for the Grizzlies to become a better mid-range shooting team, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Memphis led the league in points in the paint last season, but seldomly made mid-range jumpers, ranking just 26th in the league during the regular season and last in the playoffs, per Cole. The 6’8″ Williams, meanwhile, is a talented pull-up shooter, with the ability to create his shot in multiple ways, Cole notes.

I was blessed to have that mid-range, man,” Williams said during Summer League. “We’ve been working on that shot since I was 5 or 6 years old. It’s definitely there for sure, especially with my height and my length. I get that shot off a lot.”

On a very limited volume, Williams shot 48% on mid-rangers as a rookie in 2021/22, which ranked in the 87th percentile of all players, according to DunksAndThrees.com.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic considers several possible free agent targets for the Suns‘ final roster spot, including Carmelo Anthony, Jarrett Culver, Facundo Campazzo, and Ben McLemore, among others.
  • Did the offseason moves the Kings made make them a playoff team? Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee explores that topic, noting that shooting was a priority and the Kings addressed that need by adding Malik Monk (free agent), Kevin Huerter (trade with Atlanta) and Keegan Murray (No. 4 overall pick). Ultimately, Anderson thinks Sacramento should definitely improve its win total from last season after going 30-52, but landing one of the final spots in the play-in tournament might be a more realistic outcome than breaking the long playoff drought.
  • A source tells Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link) that the Trail Blazers have parted ways with assistant coach Edniesha Curry. Portland confirmed the news (Twitter link via Spears), though the reasoning behind the move was vague. Curry, a former WNBA player, was a first-year assistant in ’21/22.
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