When the Trail Blazers acquired Eric Maynor from the Thunder at last Thursday's trade deadline, the club needed to waive a player to make room on the roster for the new addition. Elliot Williams, who underwent surgery on his left Achilles last fall and was expected to miss the entire season, was the obvious candidate to be released, since the team didn't pick up his 2013/14 option, but Portland cut Ronnie Price instead.
While the move may have suggested that Williams remains part of the Blazers' long-term plan, that's not a decision that GM Neil Olshey has made yet, as he tells Joe Freeman of the Oregonian.
"Right now we just don’t have a big enough sample size to make a decision on whether Elliot is a part of the future or he isn’t," Olshey said. "We’ve been able to evaluate everybody else on the roster. But with him, there’s still some uncertainty there and we wanted to keep him in the fold going forward."
For his part, Williams is recovering well and hasn't given up hope that he could return to the court before the Blazers' season is over. While he acknowledges that it may not make sense for him to play this season and that he doesn't want to rush anything, the 23-year-old guard is still working to get to 100% before he becomes a free agent. As Freeman writes, the sooner Williams gets healthy, the sooner the team will be able to evaluate whether he'll be ready to contribute next season, and whether he'll be worth further investment.