C.J. Williams

Timberwolves Sign C.J. Williams To Two-Way Contract

7:00pm: The Timberwolves have officially signed Williams to a two-way deal, the team announced today in a press release.

11:23am: The Timberwolves are in the process of finalizing a two-way contract with swingman C.J. Williams, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Williams recently became an unrestricted free agent after being waived by the Clippers last Friday.

[RELATED: 2018/19 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

Williams, 28, began his professional career in 2012 after going undrafted out of N.C. State. Having played for international and G League teams for the last several years, the 6’5″ guard caught on with the Clippers in 2017, signing a two-way contract with the club last October. He made his NBA debut in November and appeared in 38 overall games for the Clippers, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 18.6 minutes per contest.

Williams’ solid showing on his two-way deal earned him a standard NBA multiyear contract near the end of the 2017/18 season, but it was mostly non-guaranteed, making his hold on a roster spot precarious. He became in expendable this summer in L.A., where the Clips have 16 players on guaranteed salaries for 2018/19.

With Williams on the verge of joining the club, Minnesota has now filled both of its two-way contract slots. Former Rhode Island shooting guard Jared Terrell signed a two-way deal with the club earlier this month. Terrell and Williams should provide the Timberwolves with some extra depth on the wing, though they’ll only be eligible to spend up to 45 days with the NBA team during the G League season.

Western Notes: Capela, Durant, Leonard, Williams

Clint Capela‘s new five-year contract with the Rockets on Friday, initially reported to be worth $90MM, is technically guaranteed for $80MM with $10MM in incentives, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets. Those annual incentives include $1MM for reaching the Western Conference finals, $500K for finishing with a 30% defensive rebounding rate, and $500K for shooting at least 65% from the free throw line, according to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post (Twitter link).

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Kevin Durant‘s decision to take a one-plus-one contract with the Warriors kept his options open beyond the upcoming season, as he explained to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Durant will make $30MM the first year with a $31.5MM player option for the 2019/20 season. “The [one-plus-one] was the perfect thing for me to do, to keep things open for me — financially and what I want to do,” he told Charania. “It’s just one of those things.”
  • The Celtics offered at least two of the first-round picks they own from other teams for Kawhi Leonard, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. Those picks, as Dan Feldman of NBC Sports writes, include the higher of the Kings’ and 76ers’ pick next summer, unless it’s the top overall pick; the Grizzlies’ first-rounder, which is top-eight protected next summer and top-six protected in 2020; and the Clippers’ pick, which is lottery-protected the next two summers and then converts to a second-rounder. The Spurs instead decided to take another All-Star, DeMar DeRozan, in a package for Leonard. The way the Spurs organization treated Leonard may have had more to do with his departure than any issues with his teammates, Feldman notes in a separate piece, relaying reporting from Lowe and ESPN’s Michael C. Wright.
  • C.J. Williams is a perfect waiver claim candidate, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Williams, who was waived by the Clippers on Friday, is on a $1.4MM non-guaranteed contract with $125K in protection if he’s not waived by opening night, Marks continues. His $1.6MM salary in 2019/20 has a $200K guarantee if he’s not waived by the first game, Marks adds.
  • The Nuggets’ second unit will likely be led by Mason Plumlee, Isaiah Thomas, Trey Lyles and Torrey Craig, Chris Dempsey of the team’s website predicts. Dempsey dispenses his views on recent developments involving the club in his latest mailbag.

Clippers Waive Guard C.J. Williams

JULY 27: Williams has been waived, Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports tweets.

JULY 26: The Clippers are expected to release shooting guard C.J. Williams soon, reports Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). He’ll become an unrestricted free agent if he goes unclaimed on waivers.

Williams, 28, began his professional career in 2012 after going undrafted out of N.C. State. Having played for international and G League teams for the last several years, the 6’5″ guard caught on with the Clippers in 2017, signing a two-way contract with the club last October.

Williams made his NBA debut in November and appeared in 38 overall games for the Clippers, averaging 5.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 18.6 minutes per contest. His solid showing on his two-way deal earned him a standard NBA multiyear contract near the end of the 2017/18 season.

However, Williams’ 2018/19 salary was non-guaranteed, making him a logical roster casualty for the Clippers, whose roster is getting crowded. With Montrezl Harrell back under contract, Los Angeles now has 16 players on guaranteed deals. That roster count doesn’t include Patrick Beverley, whose $5MM+ salary for ’18/19 is non-guaranteed.

Pacific Notes: Stephenson, Ariza, Harrell, Ferrell

Headed to his seventh team in five years, new Laker Lance Stephenson is hoping he can land a long-term contract next summer, relays Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. Stephenson expected a longer stay in Indiana after appearing in all 82 games last season. However, after teammate Thaddeus Young opted in to a $13.7MM deal and Doug McDermott was added in free agency, the Pacers elected to decline their $4.3MM option on Stephenson. He wound up signing a one-year, $4.5MM deal with L.A.

“I’m definitely looking for a long-term contract after this,” Stephenson said. “I’m trying to find a home. I’ve been moving a lot and to different teams. I’m trying to find a place where I can actually call home and feel comfortable, and actually get a nice place and stay there for a while.”

There’s more this morning from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns contacted free agent forward Trevor Ariza in the first minute of free agency, he says in a video interview tweeted by the team. The former Rocket agreed to change teams after receiving a one-year, $15MM offer from Phoenix. “Sometimes things run their course and it’s time for a new start and new beginning,” Ariza explained. “There were a lot of options for me, but the one that … showed the most promise was this one. I’m excited to be here. I’m happy to be here. It’s closer to home [in Los Angeles] for me.”
  • The new two-year, $12MM contract for Montrezl Harrell leaves the Clippers about $500K below the tax line, but sets up a difficult roster decision, Bobby Marks posts on ESPN Now. Re-signing Harrell gives L.A. 16 guaranteed contracts, along with non-guaranteed deals for Patrick Beverley ($5,027,028) and C.J. Williams ($1,378,242). Neither becomes fully guaranteed until January 10.
  • The Kings finalized a three-year, $20.5MM contract with Nemanja Bjelica on Saturday, but not an expected deal with Yogi Ferrell, notes salary cap expert Albert Nahmad (Twitter link). He speculates that Sacramento could be examining its options with $14MM in remaining cap space and may use the room mid-level exception to sign Ferrell to a two-year, $6.2MM deal at a later date.

L.A. Notes: Wallace, Williams, Ball, Ingram

Rather than bringing in an outside free agent to fill the open spot on their 15-man roster, the Clippers opted to elevate one of their players on two-way contracts. According to Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), the Clippers engaged with Tyrone Wallace‘s reps about a possible deal, but weren’t able to get close to an agreement, leaving C.J. Williams as the logical choice.

Williams signed a new three-year deal with the franchise on Monday, and the 28-year-old was emotional when he met with his parents to tell them about his new NBA deal, as Turner writes in a piece for The Times.

“When I got there, I couldn’t get the words out,” Williams said. “I was crying. So my parents are like, ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Oh, my God, what’s wrong? What’s going on? What’s going on?’ I’m like, ‘I got the deal done!’ They were like, ‘Boy!’ I scared them at first. They kind of realized what I was trying to do. It was a great moment.”

Per Turner, Williams’ new contract isn’t fully guaranteed for the second and third years, but he’ll receive some partial compensation beyond this season.

Here’s more out of Los Angeles:

  • A pair of former No. 2 overall picks, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, may not make it back from injuries for the Lakers‘ final two games, writes Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. Ball, who is listed as questionable for Tuesday’s contest, appears more likely than Ingram to return for at least one of L.A.’s last two games, but it’s no lock.
  • In an Insider-only article for ESPN.com, Bobby Marks previews the Lakers‘ upcoming offseason, exploring Julius Randle‘s restricted free agency, the cost of trading Luol Deng, and the team’s need for a Plan B if it can’t land a premier free agent. Marks, who has plenty of experience in an NBA front office, believes the Lakers would need to attach two first-round picks to Deng in order to dump his contract.
  • Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the latest developments in a legal battle between Madison Square Garden Co. – the owners of The Forum in Los Angeles – and the city of Inglewood, plus Clippers-controlled company Murphy’s Bowl LLC. The case is related to the Clippers’ interest in constructing a new arena in Inglewood.

Clippers Sign C.J. Williams To Three-Year Deal

1:05pm: The Clippers have signed Williams to a new three-year contract, a source tells Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). According to Turner, as expected, the second and third years of the deal won’t be guaranteed.

9:03am: The Clippers are set to elevate swingman C.J. Williams from his two-way contract to a spot on the 15-man NBA roster, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). According to Charania, the two sides are finalizing a three-year agreement.

Williams, 28, went undrafted out of North Carolina State back in 2012, and had played for a handful of international and G League teams since then. He made his NBA debut for the Clippers earlier this season and has now appeared in 36 games (16 starts) on his two-way deal, averaging 5.3 PPG on .446/.310/.813 shooting.

As we noted on Friday, the Clippers are one of seven NBA teams that still have an open roster spot available, so the club won’t have to cut anyone to make room for Williams. It makes sense that L.A. is opting to fill that roster opening with one of its two-way players — both Williams and guard Tyrone Wallace made strong cases to earn a standard NBA contract heading into the offseason.

As for the details of Williams’ new contract, Charania doesn’t offer many specifics, but the fact that it covers three years (2017/18, plus two more seasons) suggests that the Clips are using their mid-level exception to finalize the signing. The minimum salary exception would only allow for a two-year deal.

The Clips previously used their MLE to sign Milos Teodosic, Jawun Evans, and Sindarius Thornwell, leaving about $775K remaining on it. A portion of that money figures to be used to sign Williams, with minimum salaries likely to follow for 2018/19 and 2019/20 — those salaries almost certainly won’t be fully guaranteed.

L.A. Notes: Ingram, Lakers, Clippers, Kilpatrick

The Lakers will be without former No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram for at least the next two or three games, the team confirmed today, announcing in a press release that the second-year forward has been diagnosed with a left groin strain. Ingram, who sat out Saturday’s contest vs. San Antonio, will be re-evaluated in about a week, according to the team.

Here are a few more Lakers and Clippers notes from out of Los Angeles:

  • While the Lakers‘ playoff chances are extremely slim, the progress they’ve made this season is “undeniable and significant to their future,” says Bill Oram of The Orange County Register. As Oram notes, the team’s growth is important not just for its young players but for its ability to attract free agents in the offseason.
  • Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN also examines the growth of the Lakers‘ young players, who have done well pushing through adversity.
  • It sounds like the Clippers haven’t entirely ruled out the possibility of signing a two-way player like Tyrone Wallace or C.J. Williams to an NBA contract, but the team didn’t want to wait on those negotiations, opting to fill its open roster spot with Sean Kilpatrick, as Elliott Teaford of The Daily Breeze writes. “We’re trying to make the playoffs here,” head coach Doc Rivers said. “We’re going to try to sign who we think is the best fit for our team. If Sean comes in and earns it, it’ll be his job. Or we’ll go back to the C.J.s or the Tys. We like them all. We just have to figure out who’s the best fit.”
  • The Clippers are $545K below the luxury tax line after signing Kilpatrick to a 10-day deal, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks. That gives the team some breathing room to eventually sign someone to a rest-of-season contract without going into the tax.

L.A. Notes: Bradley, Clippers, Thomas, Ball

As the Clippers headed to Phoenix for Friday night’s game against the Suns, Avery Bradley stayed behind in Los Angeles to receive treatment on a sports hernia injury that has nagged at him for much of the season, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. The Clippers, who could have used Bradley on defense during Thursday’s 134-127 loss to Golden State, aren’t sure exactly when the veteran guard will return to action.

“We are concerned,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said. “We’ve got to go through the right stuff and make sure he’s in a good place with his health. I think we’re going to send him to a doctor and let him check and see.”

Here’s more out of Los Angles on both the Clippers and Lakers:

  • The Clippers currently have one opening on their 15-man roster, which would allow the team to give a full-fledged roster spot to one of its two-way players. However, it’s not clear whether Tyrone Wallace or C.J. Williams would be first in line for that spot, as both players are expected to receive consideration, according to Turner. “Hopefully we can get something resolved pretty soon,” Rivers said. “We just got to figure out what we’re going to do. We may be able to sign one.”
  • With the Lakers focusing on developing younger players and Isaiah Thomas in need of a showcase before he hits free agency, the union between the two doesn’t exactly look like a marriage made in heaven, writes Rob Mahoney of SI.com. Still, Lonzo Ball is looking forward to playing with Thomas, suggesting that his pass-first style and Thomas’ score-first mentality should mesh well together, as Bill Oram of The Orange County Register details.
  • In a conversation with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma addressed several topics, including the team’s recent trades of Larry Nance and Jordan Clarkson, his friendship with Ball, and the possibility of the Lakers landing a star in free agency.

Pacific Notes: Walton, Caldwell-Pope, West, Williams

The Lakers mishandled the latest controversy involving LaVar Ball, writes Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post. The outspoken father of rookie Lonzo Ball said over the weekend that coach Luke Walton has lost control of the team and that players no longer enjoy playing for him.

The comments drew a harsh reaction from other coaches such as the Mavericks’ Rick Carlisle, the Pistons’ Stan Van Gundy and the Warriors’ Steve Kerr, but Bontemps says Lakers management failed to speak out swiftly to defend Walton.

GM Rob Pelinka turned down two requests to talk to reporters at Sunday’s game, then team president Magic Johnson did the same at Monday’s practice. Bontemps notes this would have been a perfect opportunity to support Walton and send a message to LaVar Ball, but the team leaders remained silent.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is ready to move on after completing a 25-day jail sentence, relays Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Caldwell-Pope was released for games and practices, but wasn’t permitted to leave California for road trips. “Paid my debts and all,” he said. “… Everything is done. Put that behind me. Moving forward, finish my season. Just happy to be home. Just a minor setback for me, [but there’s a] lot of things I gotta change. Lotta things I gotta improve on. Had a lot of time to think about it.”
  • Warriors forward David West heard a lot of second guessing when he turned down a $12.6MM option with the Pacers in 2015, but he tells Chris Hayes of ESPN he doesn’t think he would still be playing without that decision. He signed a $1.4MM contract with the Spurs that year and has taken similar deals with the Warriors the past two seasons. “I would have retired, man,” West said. “That would have been it, because I wanted to compete for a championship. I needed to experience that. So, if I played out my contract there, that would have been it. I was walking away. I wanted to feel like I was playing for something.”
  • After hitting a game-winning shot Monday, Clippers guard C.J. Williams has another important occasion coming up, notes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Playing on a two-way contract, Williams has used 40 of his 45 allowable days in the NBA. Injuries have forced Williams into the rotation, as he has started 12 games and is averaging nearly 20 minutes per night. To keep him, the Clippers will have to sign him to a regular contract or a 10-day deal by the end of the week. “We’re going to start a ‘GoFundMe Fund’ for C.J.,” coach Doc Rivers joked after the game. “We need some donations.”

Clippers Rumors: Williams, Austin Rivers, Doc

Swingman C.J. Williams is nearing the end of his 45-day limit with the Clippers and admits the situation weighs on him, as he told Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Williams scored a career-high 18 points on Tuesday in his 37th day with the club. Once he reaches the limit, he’ll either have to spend the rest of the season in the G League or receive a standard contract. The Clippers do have an open roster spot, as Turner notes. “It’s hard not to think about it,” Williams told Turner. “But once the game comes, I’m focused on the game, focused on what I’m doing. I can’t really think about what’s going to happen in the future.”

In other developments involving the team:

  • Austin Rivers has missed the last two games with a sore right Achilles tendon. The combo guard is listed as questionable to play on Thursday. The club sent him to another specialist just to make sure the injury is not more serious than the original diagnosis, Turner writes in a separate story“I know he was working out the last couple of days and had some discomfort. So they’re going to reevaluate his foot again,” coach and father Doc Rivers said. “I think they are going to send him to another guy and see what’s going on.”
  • The Clippers have managed to hang around in the playoff race despite injuries to several key players. That’s made this a rewarding season thus far for Doc Rivers. “I just love coaching this team,” he told Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register. “There are so many reasons we could have thrown in the towel. [Sunday], we had four of our top six scorers out. We have it over and over again and somebody else steps up. This team is a resilient team.”
  • Earlier today, we asked you for your predictions on how the rest of the Clippers’ 2017/18 season will play out. Join our discussion right here.