Deron Williams' contract status may have some resolution soon, following the Dallas Mavericks waiving the former All-Star point guard. The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to offer Williams a new contract as soon as he clears waivers, giving LeBron James the playmaker he had requested from the front office. The Mavs are about to join the Brooklyn Nets as teams that have basically thrown money toward Williams' 2017 net worth and then continued paying him to go join another NBA team.
Williams' contract is a bit complicated, as he will be getting paid by three NBA franchises for the 2016-17 NBA season. Under his current deal, Williams earns $9 million from the Dallas Mavericks this season. He signed a one-year contract with the team during the offseason, which he will continue to earn through the waiver process. Another team can claim Williams off waivers, but that would then require them to pay the remainder of his salary this season. Once he clears waivers, he can be signed for the veteran's minimum.
As previously reported by ESPN, the Brooklyn Nets bought out the remainder of Deron Williams' contract with the team in order to save some money. The Nets still owed Williams $43 million but negotiated it down to $27.5 million in order to simply cut him loose. Under the terms of the buyout, Williams will make $5.5 million from the Nets through the 2019-20 NBA season. Once that "buyout" had been agreed to, Williams signed a two-year free agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks.
Breaking it all down, Deron Williams will be under contract with the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, and Cleveland Cavaliers this season, should he make it through waivers. So how much money are these teams throwing at his 2017 net worth? At the end of the season, Williams will have received $14.5 million in combined salary from the three franchises. It's not often that a third team will show interest after two teams basically pay a player to go away, but Williams is about to enter new territory in the NBA.
For the new Deron Williams contract to come from the Cavs, he first has to clear waivers. While on waivers, any other team can put in a claim on the point guard, forcing him to report somewhere other than Cleveland. In Major League Baseball, often times teams will put claims on players in order to prevent them from going to a rival team. This is where some strategy could come into play, as the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, or Washington Wizards could step in and place a claim on Williams to prevent him from playing for the Cavs this season.
NBA waivers work in reverse order of the standings, giving the worst teams the first crack at claiming a player. It means that the only teams with a worse shot at claiming Williams than the Cavs would be the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. In fact, the Cavs would have a difficult time claiming Williams, as they would be on the hook for the remainder of his salary this season. That would put the team even further into the luxury tax penalty, adding to what has already been a record number of total salaries this year.
In 40 games for the Dallas Mavericks this season, Deron Williams had averaged 29.3 minutes, 13.1 points, 6.9 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game. They aren't the All-Star numbers that he once put up for the Utah Jazz, but it certainly caused many teams around the NBA to take notice of him in Dallas. When the NBA trade rumors started popping up again this winter, any team in need of a point guard to lead the second unit got linked to his name. At the top of the list was the Cleveland Cavaliers, but recently, Utah had been looking at reuniting with its former leader.
Over six seasons and 439 total games with the Jazz, Williams averaged 17.3 points, 9.1 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game. Quite a few of those seasons included Williams averaging a double-double every night he stepped on the court. It led to invitations to play on the Western Conference All-Star team as well as Team USA. Knee problems took a toll on him, but Williams is still the type of veteran playmaker who could help any contending team down the stretch.
While his time with the Brooklyn Nets did not end well, Williams might soon have a chance to re-write his legacy if he can do well in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Backing up Kyrie Irving means Williams would play fewer minutes, possibly keeping his legs fresh for what could be a grueling playoff run. If he does find a lot of success with the Cavs, the next Deron Williams contract in free agency could include a 10-figure salary that bumps up his net worth even further.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]