Even with the trade deadline officially over, there are still NBA rumors that have a lot of fans around the league buzzing about some big possible moves. In particular, it appeared the Dallas Mavericks were not done after their big trade, and that the Cleveland Cavaliers could have themselves another star playmaker if things work out. The latest NBA rumors involve the Mavs’ Deron Williams, and his potential for ending up in Cleveland to join LeBron James and company for a title run.
According to a recent ESPN report, the Dallas Mavericks officially waived the former All-Star point guard on Thursday and that has plenty of teams interested in picking him up. While there are a lot of NBA squads that could use the services of a player of Williams’ caliber, it appears the former Jazz star is interested in joining forces with one of the league’s best. Williams wants to suit up as a member of the maroon and yellow in pursuit of an NBA Championship. It could be just the help that “King James” has been looking for.
Williams was a crucial part of the Utah Jazz’s successful playoff runs after the John Stockton and Karl Malone era ended. In just over five seasons with Williams as the starting point guard, the team reached the playoffs four times, including advancing to the 2007 Western Conference Finals. After the Jazz, he had a brief stint in Brooklyn as the team tried to build a contender. That Nets team also featured stars Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Joe Johnson. That project was disbanded with Williams ending up with Dallas.
For the current season, Williams has averaged 13.1 points and 6.9 assists, a far cry from what he used to put up as an All-Star. However, he would be a nice addition to a team where LeBron has been asking for “more help” in terms of deepening the roster. As reported by Washington Post, back in late January, James was quoted as calling out the talent level of the roster and saying the team needed a “playmaker.”
Williams is certainly a skilled playmaker with postseason experience as well. The former All-Star is capable of giving the team the boost they need with less than half the season remaining. In addition, he seems ready and willing to contribute. Most likely, Williams would accept any role unselfishly in exchange for being part of a championship-winning team. The only risk at this point is that Williams has been limited in his appearances due to injuries, but the Cavs are looking toward the postseason and contending with Golden State for the trophy again.
Williams was reportedly held out of the team’s last two practices as they fielded trade offers. Earlier in the day on Thursday, it was reported that Dallas was attempting to buy out Williams, and then later on, the official news arrived that he had been waived. The Mavs will reportedly pay the remainder of Williams’ contract for a buy out of approximately $2.5 million.
Taking over for Williams in terms of the starting point guard role will be Yogi Ferrell. Ferrell showed his skills during a 10-day contract as he averaged 15.3 points, 4.6 assists, and two steals per game over a seven-game stretch in which the team went 5-2. The team will look to develop the young player to become their floor general, while reserve point guard J.J. Barea is recovering from his calf strain injury.
Thursday was a busy day overall for the Dallas organization. Prior to the trade deadline, the team made a trade to obtain big man Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers. In exchange, the Mavs sent the Sixers Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a conditional first-round draft pick. The Williams buy out came later, but now it appears the team has a clear vision of how they will proceed towards a possible playoff appearance. At the very least, Dallas has added a potential top big man, who, if he can stay healthy, can be a great addition for seasons to come.
As far as Deron Williams goes, it seems it’s now up to the Cleveland Cavaliers to decide if they want to roll the dice on a multiple-time All-Star with playoff experience. The team may regret not picking him up quickly if they get to the NBA Finals against a high-scoring and deep Golden State Warriors team several months from now.
[Featured Image by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]