Blazers forward Shawne Williams, rehabbing from surgery to repair a broken left foot, will exercise his $3.135MM option for next season as expected, Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports. Portland acquired the 6'9", 225-pound forward from the Nets at the trade deadline after he signed a two-year deal with New Jersey in December.
The Blazers tried to buy him out shortly after acquiring him, but he rebuffed their attempts. Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors said then that the chances he'd turn down the option were "close to zero." The move eats into the Blazers' cap space for the offseason, but with Jamal Crawford expected to decline his $5.23MM option, the team should still have plenty of room to pursue free agents. They should have only about $32MM committed for next season, though that doesn't count cap holds set aside for what could be a pair of first-round draft picks.
Williams, making $3MM this year, went down in February and hasn't played at all for Portland after averaging 4.5 PPG on 28.6% shooting in 25 games for the Nets. The 17th pick in the 2006 draft had resurrected a foundering career last season with the Knicks, when he connected on 40.1% of his three-point attempts, but couldn't duplicate that success this year, making just 24.1% of his three-pointers.