WEDNESDAY, 4:19pm: The deal is official, the team announced (via Twitter).
The free agent guard had chiefly been connected to the Mavs of late, but Dallas instead used the $2.732MM room exception it had earmarked for a potential deal with the ex-Blazer on Jameer Nelson. The Wolves are almost certainly using part of their $5.305MM mid-level exception on this deal, one that will give Williams more than he would have made with the Mavs.
Williams, 31, had made re-signing with Portland his “only goal” at the outset of free agency after he turned down a $2.77MM player option. The capped out Blazers used their exceptions on Chris Kaman and Steve Blake, leaving only the Non-Bird rights they held on Williams to give him no more than a 20% raise, and it became clear within the second week of free agency that the chances for a return were slim.
The Wolves have been looking at the Mark Bartelstein client for a few days now, as John Krawczynski of The Associated Press notes (on Twitter). Team president Flip Saunders & Co. see Williams as a strong fit to play on the second unit alongside rookie dunking machine Zach LaVine. In 74 games for the Blazers last season, Williams averaged 9.7 PPG and 4.3 APG in 24.8 minutes per contest. Williams also turned in a career-low 41.7% field goal percentage and 11.8 PER, numbers that he’ll look to improve on this season.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.