It wasn’t that long ago that Deron Williams was considered a Top 5 point guard in the NBA and easily a Top 25 player. Back in 2012 when he signed with the Nets after five seasons as a budding star in Utah, Williams was rocking neck and neck with CP3 for the title of "NBA’s dopest floor general."
He could do it all; get buckets, pass, go to the rack.
Then his ankles gave out on him, the missed games and injuries piled up and his effectiveness deteriorated with each unhealthy season. This year, Williams, 32 was in the midst of the worst statistical season his career, averaging just 13.1 points and 6.9 assists and shooting 34.8% on three-pointers in 40 games for the Dallas Mavericks, who waived him on Thursday. He cleared waivers on Saturday and informed the Cavaliers that he will sign with them for the remainder of the season.
Williams’ stats may not seem that impressive on a Dallas squad that’s in rebuild mode, but you add a relatively healthy Williams to the Cavs’ already loaded roster and he can be a formidable addition for the defending champs.
The consensus opinion is that Cleveland struck gold with this high-quality, low cost addition. King James kicked and screamed to the press earlier in the season that the Cavaliers needed another “playmaker” to relieve the injury-prone Irving of his immense burden.
Williams’ addition is more riches for a man and a team already spoiled sick with them.
Once Love and Smith return, the Cavs will have a sick bench consisting of Williams, Kyle Korver, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and Richard Jefferson. That’s better than a lot of team’s starting five.
William’s arrival also comes at a great time for the Cavs, who are short a few major players the next four weeks of the regular season. Kevin Love (recovering from knee surgery) and shooting guard J.R. Smith (recovering from a fractured thumb) should be back in a month and ready for the playoff get-down.
In the meantime, Williams can add another passing dimension to the team as he averages more assists than Irving, he is a solid pick-n-roll player, a productive veteran (he still can get you 30) and hungry to win his first NBA championship.