The Suns have until September 1 to fully guarantee the $874,636 option on WIlliams' contract for this season, and according to what McDonough told Coro, "Chances are, he'll have a spot".
As the probable third-string center, what Alan Williams brings to the Suns is much more than just his play on the court. Going back to last season, you would be hard pressed to find another player, or even a fan in the stands, cheering on the team with the same level of enthusiasm as Williams.
Ex-Suns player Dionte Christmas, was recognized by fans as being one of the most enthusiastic supporters of his teammates a couple of seasons ago. But even he doesn't hold a candle to the big, saucy one.
For a young team like the Suns, having such a great teammate and influence in the locker room is more important than many fans probably realize. Sure, the veteran leadership is important to help develop the skills of the young guys, but chemistry and a positive atmosphere on and off the court are also crucial.
Of course, his work ethic and on-the-court play are also factors in this decision as well. Let's not forget that he earned first-team All Summer League honors, along with some impressive company:
Williams started all six games for the Summer Suns, and averaged 11.8 points per game along with an impressive, league-high 11.2 rebounds...and was the only player to average a double-double as well.
Not too shabby for a 6' 8" center.
In watching Alan play, there's little secret to his on-court success. What he lacks in height, he more than makes up for in energy, effort, and strength. Williams doesn't quit on the play, constantly fighting for position and trying to grab the rebound until it is secured, one way or another.
As for his defense, he aggressively challenges his man and loves to body-up in the post. You see this same level of aggression on offense, where he routinely set hard screens to free his teammates. In fact, maybe a bit too aggressive at times, to the point where he would get called for illegal screens when he was still moving while he leaned in to get the most bang for the buck.
Fouls like that during Summer League are not a problem in my opinion, as they exhibit energy and effort. This is easy to fix through practice, whereas, on the other hand, it's very difficult to get a player to be more aggressive.
But the Williams' success story doesn't end there.
Alan is a native Phoenician; born and raised right here in the Valley of the Sun. He's a hometown kid who played for North High in Phoenix, where he averaged 22.1 points, 16.2 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks as a senior...before playing college at UC Santa Barbara.
But Alan isn't the only member of his family making news. His mother, Jeri Williams, recently made headlines by being named as the first female police chief of Phoenix:
It seems hard work runs in the Williams family. And with a mother who obviously served as an effective, and positive role model for Alan, it's no wonder that he has developed into the high-character, hard-working player that he has become.
The Suns are building a family-like atmosphere among the team, in which hard-work and togetherness on and off the court are emphasized...and a player like Alan Williams seems to be yet another perfect fit. It seems that the coaching staff and management also recognize this to be the case, and will likely ensure that he has a place on the team this season because of it.