After not seeing the floor much this season, the Miami Heat decided to part ways with Derrick Williams. He was waived and Miami then signed Okaro White to a two-year deal in the midst of this.
Today, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced they have signed Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract.
Six seasons into Williams’ career, and this is not what we imagined. Being a former first-round pick, second overall, many thought Derrick Williams would be a star in this league. So far he has not lived up to expectations. Being the second pick in the draft comes with a lot of pressure. People expect you to develop into a great player, not that there’s anything wrong with that. That’s how it should be.
Derrick Williams played for four teams in six seasons so far, and it’ll be five teams once he suits up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Throughout his journey, his coaches have tried to see whether the power forward or small forward position is best for him. Height-wise, he can be at a disadvantage playing PF depending on the opponents scheme. His below average rebounding doesn’t help either.
Athletically is where he can hold his own. Williams doesn’t have the speed to keep up with most of the top guys in the NBA at the SF position. With that said, being a big body can still help him in more ways than not.
We’ll see how Tyronn Lue tries to fit Derrick Williams into Cleveland’s rotation.
Coming into the NBA, Derrick Williams was as athletic as anyone and still is. He hasn’t quite used that to his advantage.
Through six seasons, his career averages are 9.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.7 assist. Williams is not a very good shooter; for his career he shoots 29.3 percent from three and 71 percent from the foul line. In today’s NBA, being able to shoot is a must and that is not Derrick Williams’ strong suit. It’s easy to say that he needs to work on his jump shot but how many guys have tried that for years and failed?
There are other ways for him to contribute but it just hasn’t been enough. His rebounding isn’t there and neither is his playmaking. His career average of 0.7 assists says it all.
This doesn’t mean that he can’t get better. He’s still only 25 years old and that leaves him with a lot of potential still. In his six years in the NBA, he’s never had a major injury to hold him back.
To play for the Cleveland Cavaliers is a golden opportunity for Williams. The Cavs are giving him a chance but he’ll have to show them how bad he wants it.
Cleveland Cavaliers Sign Derrick Williams To 10-Day Contract, What It Means For Team
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed Derrick Williams. What does he bring to the team?
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed six-year NBA veteran and former second overall draft pick Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.
Williams, who will be playing for his fifth team in six seasons, is a former second overall pick but that he hasn’t found success in the league isn’t due to the reasons of former first overall pick Anthony Bennett or former second overall pick Michael Beasley. Bennett lacked the conditioning and simply, the talent, to succeed in the NBA for a long period of time. That’s not totally unsurprising, as Bennett only had one standout season in college. Beasley lacked the discipline to succeed and, it can almost be said that Williams has the same skillset of Beasley but he’s the far better decision-maker.
To understand Williams’ lack of success so far, one has to consider the context. Up until this season with the Miami Heat, Williams has played for nothing but dysfunctional franchises: the Minnesota Timberwolves (who he was drafted by), the Sacramento Kings and the New York Knicks. Playing for these teams didn’t stifle his ability to succeed on the court per se, as Williams has had all of his career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and field goal percentage before this season. Playing for those teams just meant that he’d be part of an ever-shifting carousel of talent that left those franchises to play for another one.
Only two players remain on the Wolves from Williams’ last year there, Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic. In two years, only five players remain on the Kings’ team from Williams’ last year there. Only four players remain from the Knicks team that played just last season.
With turnover like that, people would be hard-pressed to judge Williams’ inability to stick on a roster as an event exclusive from these particular franchises’ inability to commit to a direction and identity.
Now, with that said, Williams is a player who will greatly help the Cleveland Cavaliers because of his positional versatility, ability to shoot the three-ball from the corners, his ability and preference to score inside the arc, his athleticism and last, but not least, his decision-making ability.
In this article, I detailed some of the things that Williams would do for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In a nutshell, what Williams would ideally provide for the Cavs is a player who will be the backup for LeBron James. While Richard Jefferson will likely be listed as James’ backup on the depth chart, it’s Williams who allows the Cleveland Cavaliers to do a lot of the things that the Cavs like to do with James on the court, not Jefferson.
It starts with Williams’ size and athleticism, as he’ll be able to be the slasher and above-the-rim threat the Cavs lack when James’ is off the floor whether in halfcourt or transition. Because of his size and versatility, he can play any of the three frontcourt positions though the Cleveland Cavaliers would obviously only want him at center against certain teams. With that athleticism, Williams will be able to draw in defenders as he attacks the rim. That will generate ball movement from the Cavs and, like when James and Kyrie Irving attack the rim, assists.
Williams’ ability to score from the post and the midrange without assistance are the next biggest things for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Finally, Williams decision-making will benefit the Cavs because though he’s not a playmaker in the sense that he’s a floor general, he does know how to work his teammates open and find them in the correct position to get the ball. Turning over the ball only 1.2 times per game, Williams shows his basketball IQ is high because he never hunts for bad shots, bad passes or makes mental errors in the game.
Within these next 10 days, the Cavs play four opponents: the Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Indiana Pacers. Head coach Tyronn Lue is already considering resting the Big Three against the Thunder so Williams may play extended minutes early.
If Williams earns another 10-day contract, the Cavs will play four more games in the next 10-day span. Those games will come against the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.
In any case, James should get some rest within the next 10-20 games. James has played at least 38 minutes per game since December and every minute of rest will help. Signing Williams, even if it doesn’t result in a contract that lasts the rest of the season, helps the Cavs from that standpoint as well.
While Williams could benefit the Cavs, he could also benefit from the Cavs. The team has so much talent they can place him in a role to thrive in and because they have so many shooters, his three-point percentage won’t necessarily matter. The Cavs now have three of the top four picks from the 2011 Draft, with Williams joining first overall pick Irving and fourth overall pick Tristan Thompson on the Cavs roster.