As LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers prepare to face the Chicago Bulls tonight, it’s being reported that their front office has been busy signing Deron Williams. On Thursday, Williams reached a buyout agreement with the Dallas Mavericks. On Saturday, he cleared waivers. Now, the three-time NBA All-Star will be a back-up for Kyrie Irving.
As noted by Yahoo! Sports, Williams had been considering an offer from the Utah Jazz, but decided on Saturday to go with the defending NBA Champions. Along with the recent signing of forward Derrick Williams, the Cavs now have 15 players under contract. While Derrick Williams is currently signed to his second 10-day contract with Cleveland, it’s expected that he will be signed for the rest of the season. The Cavaliers have also shown interest in Andrew Bogut, who is expected to bought out of his contract with the Philadelphia 76ers after being traded from Dallas.
During the 2016-17 season, Deron Williams has started 40 games for the Dallas Mavericks. He is averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists on 29.3 minutes per game. He’s shooting 43.0 percent from the floor, 82.1 percent from the free throw line, and 34.8 percent from three-point range. He also averages 2.6 rebounds per game, 0.6 steals per game, and one blocked shot every 10 games.
A veteran playmaker, this is Deron’s 14th season in the league. He was drafted third overall in 2005 by the Utah Jazz after playing college ball at the University of Illinois. Williams played five full seasons in Utah, and was traded to the Nets midway through the 2010-11 NBA season. Many would consider this the point at which Deron’s career peaked, playing in the NBA All-Star Game three times from 2010-2012, and being selected to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He also represented Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
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Williams played for New Jersey/Brooklyn through the end of the 2014-15 season, at which point the Nets decided to buyout the two final years of his contract. He would go on to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. Now that he’s signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he will help fill the hole that has been left with the departure of Mo Williams. His veteran status should prove to be a valuable asset, helping Cleveland out while rookie point guard Kay Felder continues to develop. As the NBA Playoffs approach, his experience and maturity will be welcomed with open arms as King James hopes to help bring the Cavs back-to-back championships.
Upcoming Cleveland Cavaliers Schedule
The Cleveland Cavaliers host the Bulls on Saturday night, looking for their first win of the season against Chicago. With a record of 29-29 headed into Saturday night’s game, the Bulls are 12 games behind the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference. The Cavs have another home game on Monday, February 27, when they play the Milwaukee Bucks. Cleveland leads 10th place Milwaukee by 15 games in the East.
After those home games, Cleveland has a three-game road trip. On Wednesday, March 1, the Cavs travel to Boston to play the Celtics. Boston is currently sitting in second place in the conference, trailing Cleveland by four games. On Friday, March 3, the team travels to the Philips Arena to face the Atlanta Hawks. At fifth place in the conference, the Hawks record of 32-25 puts them 8.5 games behind the Cavaliers. Cleveland’s road trip ends on Saturday, March 4, as LeBron returns to Miami once again. The Heat have had a tough year so far, with a record of 26-32 that puts them 15 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.
[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]