Free-agent forward Marvin Williams said via text message Wednesday that a Yahoo! Sports report that he has reached agreement to remain a Hawk is premature but admitted the sides are "close." Hawks general manager Rick Sund wouldn't comment on the negotiations Wednesday, but Williams told the AJC via text he would be in Atlanta next week for face-to-face talks.
The Hawks are believed to have offered a contract worth $37.5 million over five seasons, with incentives that could push the package as high as $40 million. As a restricted free agent, Williams could have accepted the Hawks' qualifying offer of $7.5 million and become an unrestricted free agent in July 2010.
Should Williams re-sign, the Hawks will have locked up a 23-year-old who averaged 13.9 points last season and is still regarded as a developing talent. They would also have retained three of their four key free agents --- Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia have re-signed; Flip Murray hasn't --- and added guard Jamal Crawford in the same offseason.
With Williams back in the fold, the Hawks would enter the 2009-10 season having kept seven of the top eight players from a team that won 47 games, finished fourth in the NBA's Eastern Conference and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.