The Heat are currently exploring ways to keep Okaro White on their roster when his second 10-day contract expires, and one avenue the team has looked into involves trading Derrick Williams, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. If Miami can’t find a taker for Williams, releasing him is also something the club will consider, says Jackson.
Williams, who signed a one-year deal with the Heat last summer, has appeared in 24 games this season, making 11 starts. He has averaged 6.1 PPG and 3.0 RPG in those contests, with a career-low .393 FG%, and has fallen out of the rotation in Miami in recent weeks, despite the fact that the team is missing a handful players due to injuries.
The Wizards are among the teams that might have interest in Williams, a source close to the player tells Jackson. But Washington would likely only seriously consider Williams if he were released. Jackson points out that teams below the salary cap floor could also take a look at claiming Williams off waivers if he’s cut, since more than half his $4.598MM salary has already been paid, but his full cap hit would count toward the salary floor.
As for White, he has emerged as a potential keeper for the Heat after having played a key role during the team’s recent winning streak. The rookie forward has averaged 4.6 PPG and 2.9 RPG in seven games (17.1 MPG), with an impressive shooting line of .526/.455/1.000.
White joined the Heat as a 16th man after the team was awarded a hardship exception. Such an exemption is available to clubs who have at least four players out with long-term injuries. Miami will likely continue to meet the criteria to carry a 16th player, since Justise Winslow, Chris Bosh, Josh Richardson, and Josh McRoberts aren’t close to a return.
However, an NBA spokesman confirmed to Jackson that league rules prevent Miami from simply signing White to a rest-of-season deal as a 16th man, meaning a roster move will be required if the club wants to hang onto him. White’s second 10-day deal will expire on Sunday night.