1:04pm: The Cavaliers have officially signed Williams to a 10-day contract, the team announced in a press release.
7:47am: Recently released Heat forward Derrick Williams is signing a 10-day contract with the Cavaliers, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical. Williams became an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday when he went unclaimed on waivers.
Williams, who turned down a 2016/17 player option with the Knicks, subsequently signed a one-year deal with Miami last summer worth $4.598MM. However, he only appeared in 25 games (11 starts) this season before falling out of the Heat’s rotation. He averaged 5.9 PPG and 2.9 RPG in those contests, with a career-low .394 FG%, and was waived earlier this week in order to open up a roster spot for Okaro White.
While the Heat will continue to carry $4.5MM+ in dead money on their books for Williams, the Cavs will sign him to a 10-day deal that counts for $57,672 against their cap. Cleveland is currently in a luxury-tax tier that applies a $2.50 tax charge for every dollar spent, so Williams’ 10-day contract will also add more than $144K to the team’s year-end tax bill.
Williams may not be the ball-handling “playmaker” that LeBron James publicly called for last month, but the former No. 2 overall pick will provide the Cavs with some frontcourt depth for at least the next 10 days. His contract is set to expire during the All-Star break, so Cleveland will free up a roster spot in time for the trade deadline, giving the team some added flexibility.
Austin Kent contributed to this post.