Derrick Williams fared well during his limited regular-season minutes with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and for that reason, the Cavaliers may consider bringing him back.
Cleveland.com was the first to report of the Cavs’ interest in Williams, who became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Williams is 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds. The Cavs’ front office and coaching staff are pretty much in agreement that Williams had the best NBA body on the team last season, other than LeBron James.
Williams was the recipient of two 10-day contracts after being released from the Miami Heat a little past the midway point of last year, and offered immediate energy in reserve.
But he has drawn little interest outside of Cleveland, and as Cleveland.com noted, the Cavs could bring him back on a one-year deal for $2.4 million.
According to Amico Hoops sources, the Cavs were hoping all along that Williams would be available this late in the summer, as it was the one way they could fit him into the salary cap.
Of course, the Cavs are being patient on making any more moves until the Kyrie Irving situation is resolved. Irving requested a trade last month and general manager Koby Altman and team owner Dan Gilbert continue to look for partners in a deal. But sources reiterated Monday nothing is close.
Altman is currently assisting with the Basketball Without Borders program in Israel, where he continues to take part in Irving talks.
Williams was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2011, one pick after the Cavs took Irving. The two even connected on an Irving-to-Williams alley-oop dunk off the fast break late last season.
Williams averaged 6.2 points and 2.3 rebounds on 51 percent shooting in 25 games with the Cavs. But his playing time plummeted from 17 minutes per game in the regular season to just 4.8 minutes in the playoffs — as Cavs coach Tyronn Lue tightened the rotation and went with the more experienced Richard Jefferson as James’ primary backup at small forward.
Williams, 26, has also spent time with the Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks.