THURSDAY, 3:45pm: The signing is official, the Lakers announced.
There was said to be mutual interest between Williams and the Heat, but ultimately he’ll be heading west to Los Angeles. The Knicks reportedly reached out to Williams earlier this month and the new client of Wallace Prather was apparently expected to hear from New York and Sacramento, as well as the Nets. The Heat were hot on his heels, but they were limited to the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level exception to get him and we now know that was well short of market value since he’ll earn an average annual value of $7MM per season.
Last season, Williams averaged 15.5 PPG, 2.1 APG, and 1.9 RPG in 25.2 minutes per contest on his way to being recognized as the league’s top bench player. Williams finally looked back to his normal self in 2014/15 for the first time since tearing his right ACL in January 2013. He was a strong fit for the Raptors despite the presence of fellow guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, affirming GM Masai Ujiri‘s decision to absorb Williams’ salary in a swap with the Hawks just before the 2013/14 season officially ended last June. The 28-year-old earned $5.45MM last season and he’ll see a healthy pay bump with his new Lakers deal.