4:03pm: The Rockets have officially placed Williams on waivers, Charania confirms (via Twitter).
3:34pm: With Joe Johnson‘s signing imminent, the Rockets need to waive a player to open up a roster spot. According to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle, that means the club’s on-again, off-again plans to release Troy Williams are once again back on.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported on Tuesday morning that the Rockets intended to waive Williams to create the roster spot necessary to sign Johnson. Several hours later, however, Charania indicated that Houston’s plans had changed, and the team was keeping Williams as it continued to work through that roster decision.
Having debated that decision, the Rockets have now apparently returned to their original conclusion. Feigen reports that the team will finalize Johnson’s signing today, making him available for tonight’s game against the Kings. That means that Williams will have to be cut today as well, so his apparent second life in Houston lasted just 24 hours.
Williams, 23, began his NBA career with the Grizzlies last season before being waived a little over a year ago. The former Hoosier finished the 2016/17 campaign with the Rockets, then signed a new three-year contract with Houston during the offseason. However, only the first year of that deal was fully guaranteed, which made him a candidate to be cut this week when the team needed to open up a spot on its roster.
In 34 total NBA games, Williams has averaged 5.6 PPG and 2.1 RPG. He’s expected to receive interest as a free agent, according to Charania. If Williams goes unclaimed on waivers, Houston would still owe him the rest of his minimum salary for this season, along with about $614K in guaranteed money for 2018/19, according to Basketball Insiders’ data. The Rockets would have the option of spreading that ’18/19 cap charge across three seasons.
Assuming the Rockets finalize Williams’ release, it should mean that the roster spots for players like Chinanu Onuaku, Gerald Green, and Tarik Black are safe.