5:44pm: The signing is official, Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet tweets. Williams will be available to play tonight.
7:54am: The Lakers are adding another former lottery pick to their roster, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports, who reports that free agent forward Derrick Williams is signing a 10-day contract with the club. No corresponding move will be necessary — the Lakers have 13 players on guaranteed contracts, plus Travis Wear on a 10-day deal, leaving one open roster spot.
Williams, the second overall pick in the 2011 draft, has yet to play an NBA game this season. After playing for the Heat and Cavaliers in 2016/17, Williams went unsigned on the NBA free agent market and eventually headed to China to join the Tianjin Gold Lions. In 15 games in China, Williams posted 20.0 PPG and 6.6 RPG.
Before heading overseas to continue his career, the 26-year-old had appeared in 426 NBA regular season games, averaging 8.9 PPG and 4.0 RPG for the Timberwolves, Kings, Knicks, Heat, and Cavs. Although he has at times shown that he’s capable of being a solid rotation piece, Williams has never developed into the impact player Minnesota hoped for when the team drafted him one spot after Kyrie Irving seven years ago.
It remains to be seen whether Williams will get a chance to play regular minutes with the Lakers, but he’ll at least provide some frontcourt depth while Brandon Ingram recovers from a groin injury. He’ll be joining a roster littered with former lottery picks like himself — Williams will become the eighth current Laker who was a top-10 draft pick, and the third who was a No. 2 overall selection.