“He’s out to prove to people that he’s still one of the elite point guards in the league,” King said Monday during an interview on SiriusXM Radio. “And I think that’s gonna benefit us as well.”
Williams, a three-time All-Star, averaged just 14.3 points and 6.1 assists last season.
But King believes new coach Lionel Hollins will be able to get the most out of the 30-year-old veteran. Hollins coached against Williams when Hollins was coaching in Memphis and Williams was playing in Utah.
“[Lionel’s] ready for the challenge to get him back to that level,” King said.
Asked about Hollins' taking over following Jason Kidd’s stunning departure for Milwaukee, King said: “I think he’s ready for the challenge. I’m excited because he’s gonna push these guys. He’s not gonna back off of them.”
• King also reiterated his belief that big man Kevin Garnett will return for a 20th season in the NBA. Garnett, however, has yet to make that decision official. The 38-year-old veteran is under contract for 2014-15 at $12 million.
“I’ve said it every time; we’re expecting Kevin to be back,” King said. “Nothing has wavered. I haven’t wavered in anything I’ve said. He’s planning on being back, and so we expect him when the season starts. I think Doc Rivers said it best: Kevin is probably one of the few guys that when the season is over, he goes away and gets his body mentally and physically recharged. I know he’s been working out sooner this year than he did last year because his body felt better, so we expect him back.”
• King said his best advice to second-year big man Mason Plumlee, currently vying for a spot on Team USA, is to “take advantage of every day you have, whether it’s a practice or a game, because it’s only going to make you better this season.”
King is glad that Plumlee is getting a chance to compete against some of the best players in the league -- as far as improving his scoring and defense is concerned.