C.J. Williams

And-Ones: CBA Negotiations, Williams, Paige, First-Round Picks

With new Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations likely around the corner, the NBA is unquestionably in a good situation, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. NBA owners and the NBPA could opt out of their current labor contract in December. The league made $10 billion in revenue last season, which is more than what was expected.

“The numbers did surprise me to a certain degree because they exceeded our projections,” commissioner Adam Silver said. “So to the extent our projections represent where we think our business was going, surpassing $10 billion in revenue clearly is a record for this league.

“I think it’s quite remarkable from where we came only two-and-a-half years ago when the future of this industry was in question, in part because of the pandemic and also people questioning whether people would want to continue to assemble in arenas and stadiums the way they are.”

Here are some other odds and ends from around the basketball universe:

  • Former NBA player C.J. Williams has penned a deal in Israel with Ironi Ness Ziona, the team announced on social media (Twitter link). Williams most recently played in Turkey. He appeared in 53 games with the Clippers and Timberwolves from 2017-19.
  • Free agent guard Marcus Paige has signed in Spain with Obradoiro, the team announced (via Twitter). Paige holds NBA experience with the Hornets and played in France last year, averaging 9.9 points and 3.4 assists per game.
  • Zach Lowe of ESPN.com (Insider-only link) examines why potential Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trades could expand an unprecedented trend in the NBA. Teams appear more willing than they have been in years to include unprotected first-round picks in trade packages for impact players — deals involving Durant and Mitchell will likely involve several first-rounders, just as the Jazz-Timberwolves trade involving Rudy Gobert did.

Nets Waive Lance Thomas, Three Others

The Nets have released all four of their players on non-guaranteed salaries, announcing tonight in a press release that they’ve requested waivers on forward Lance Thomas and guards Devin Cannady, C.J. Massinburg and C.J. Williams.

All four moves were expected, since Brooklyn already has 15 players on guaranteed salaries. While Wilson Chandler is set to serve a 25-game PED suspension to start the season, he can’t be formally moved to the suspended list until after the fifth game of that ban. At that point, the Nets will be able to add a 16th man to their roster until Chandler’s suspension ends.

It seems safe to assume that Thomas will be a candidate to rejoin the club at that point, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). The veteran forward has significantly more NBA experience than the other Nets players cut today, having logged 392 career regular season appearances with New Orleans, Oklahoma City, and New York.

Although the Nets’ 15-man roster is full, the team does still have an open two-way contract slot. It’s not clear if Brooklyn is still considering Cannady, Massinburg, or Williams to fill that opening after they clear waivers. Cannady and Massinburg seem more likely to become affiliate players for the Long Island Nets, Brooklyn’s G League squad.

Nets Sign Williams, Egbunu; May Add Thomas

2:53pm: The Nets’ deal with Williams is now official, the team confirmed in a press release. The club also announced that it has signed former Florida center John Egbunu, whose deal was first reported by Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link). Egbunu looks like a candidate to ultimately land with the Long Island Nets in the G League.

Brooklyn now has 19 players officially under contract.

2:45pm: Former Clippers and Timberwolves shooting guard C.J. Williams has reached an agreement to sign with the Nets, league sources tell Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Confirming the deal, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets that Williams will receive a non-guaranteed contract.

Williams, 29, made his NBA debut with the Clippers in 2017/18, then spent last season on a two-way contract with Minnesota. In total, he has appeared in 53 regular season contests, averaging 4.7 PPG on .448/.287/.765 shooting in 15.8 minutes per game.

Charania first identified Williams earlier this week as a candidate to sign with the Nets, who are looking to fill out their 20-man roster. In that report, Charania noted that Lance Thomas is in the mix to join Brooklyn’s roster too, and that idea appears to be gaining steam.

Marc Berman of The New York Post hears from a league source that the Nets are “seriously eyeing” Thomas, while Greg Logan of Newsday confirms (via Twitter) that the veteran forward has worked out for the team. According to Charania, Brooklyn is making progress on a deal to sign Thomas.

Currently, the Nets have 17 players under contract, so if they make it official with Williams and sign Thomas as well, they’d have just one opening left on their 20-man offseason roster. It remains to be seen whether the team intends to bring unsigned second-round pick Jaylen Hands to camp.

Although Williams is unlikely to earn a spot on the Nets’ regular season roster, since the club has 15 players with fully guaranteed salaries, he or another camp invitee could be re-signed five games into the regular season. At that point, Brooklyn will be able to open up an extra roster spot by moving Wilson Chandler to the suspended list for the next 20 games.

Charania’s Latest: Nets, Heat, CP3, Noah, Clippers

Despite the fact that multiple Nets players are reportedly pushing for the team to sign Carmelo Anthony, Brooklyn appears very unlikely to do so at this point, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic.

According to Charania, the Nets are more likely to fill their 20-man offseason roster they’ve worked out in recent weeks, including perhaps veteran forward Lance Thomas and swingman C.J. Williams. Dante Cunningham and Luol Deng are among the other free agents who have emerged as viable targets for Brooklyn, Charania adds.

With Wilson Chandler facing a 25-game suspension, the Nets could theoretically move on from the former Nugget to open up a spot on their 15-man regular season roster, but they currently have no plans to do so. As Charania points out, keeping Chandler on the suspended list during his 25-game ban will allow the franchise to recoup some of his salary. Plus, team executives believe Chandler would be quickly scooped up by another team if he were released later in the season.

Here are a few more items of interest from Charania’s latest round-up:

  • The Heat still have some level of trade interest in Thunder point guard Chris Paul, according to Charania. Miami is expected to wait to see how the start of the season goes before seriously considering whether to renew its pursuit of CP3, who would reciprocate the Heat’s interest.
  • Free agent big man Joakim Noah intends to join the Clippers for workouts this week, sources tell Charania. Noah’s father first suggested earlier this month that his son would be working out for the Clippers.
  • Nuggets guard Malik Beasley, who is eligible for a rookie scale extension up until October 21, has hired Rich Paul and Lucas Newton of Klutch Sports for representation, says Charania.
  • Although DeMarcus Cousins is only a one-year contract and seems likely to miss the entire 2019/20 season due to his torn ACL, the Lakers aren’t ready to move on from him yet. The Lakers wants to integrate him into the club’s culture, according to Charania, who notes that Cousins is expected to be around the team during its mini-camp in Las Vegas this week.

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.