Storyline: Derrick Williams Free Agency

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3 months ago via ESPN

But he is realistic. While it appears he has already acquitted himself well, there was sizable risk involved to coming to Cleveland on a non-guaranteed deal with a team that has been open about its search for an additional point guard or rim protector. “I kind of put myself in this predicament,” Williams said. “I asked for the release from the last team, and I put myself in a 10-day. So I’m not worried about anything after that. I just want to take every day at a time and put myself in a position I’ve never been in, and that’s what I want to do, and that’s why I chose to come here.”

In the strange twists and turns an NBA season can take, Derrick Williams concedes now he is a bit surprised to be here. In order for that to happen, he had to clear waivers. Before he approached the Miami Heat and asked for his release, his agent, Rob Pelinka, warned he was taking a big risk. Teams with cap space such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Saturday’s opponent, the Denver Nuggets, could’ve claimed him. But Williams struggled with the Heat and fell out of the rotation, not to mention the $4.6 million cap hit he would’ve cost a team that claimed him. So he passed through unclaimed by 29 other teams. “I took that as a little disrespectful,” the former No. 2 overall pick told the Beacon Journal. “I’ve got a little chip on my shoulder now.”
3 months ago via ESPN

Derrick Williams on Knicks' radar?

Ian Begley: If forward Derrick Williams clears waivers, it’s worth noting that he still has some fans in the Knicks organization. Williams was with the Knicks in 2015-16 and signed with Miami over the summer, declining a player option to remain in New York. He will he waived by Miami, according to multiple reports. Sources say the Knicks will indeed have some interest in Williams if he clears waivers. The club, of course, will have to waive a player to make room for Williams.

The 25-year-old is averaging 6.8 points on 42.2 percent shooting and 2.8 rebounds in 16 minutes per game this season. Williams signed a one-year, $4.6 million contract with the Heat as a free agent this past summer, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after the season. “I’m just waiting for my opportunity,” Williams said of his approach. “Whenever coach calls my number, calls my name, I’m ready. Whatever it might be, whether I’m starting, coming off the bench, playing three minutes, playing 30 minutes – I’ll be ready.”

Ian Begley: The Knicks have their backup point guard in Brandon Jennings. Jennings’ deal is one year and approximately $5 million, league sources confirm to ESPN. CSN Chicago first reported the terms. The Knicks will likely have to renounce their rights to free agents Derrick Williams, Lou Amundson, Sasha Vujacic and Kevin Seraphin to fit Jennings’ deal into cap space. The club should still be able to sign restricted free agent Langston Galloway and free agent Lance Thomas by going over the cap to do so via the Early Bird exception.

Ian Begley: The Knicks have their backup point guard in Brandon Jennings. Jennings’ deal is one year and approximately $5 million, league sources confirm to ESPN. CSN Chicago first reported the terms. The Knicks will likely have to renounce their rights to free agents Derrick Williams, Lou Amundson, Sasha Vujacic and Kevin Seraphin to fit Jennings’ deal into cap space. The club should still be able to sign restricted free agent Langston Galloway and free agent Lance Thomas by going over the cap to do so via the Early Bird exception.

Williams is a different story. A source told the News that the 25-year-old forward, while sometimes a little reckless and inconsistent, developed into a favorite of Knicks president Phil Jackson. Williams, the former second overall pick, averaged 9.3 points in 17.9 minutes off the bench. He is due $4.6 million next season but can more than double that over multiple seasons by opting out. The Knicks do not hold Williams’ Bird Rights so they’d need to dip into their cap space to re-sign him.

Now Williams, the University of Arizona product, will be back home. He’s one of many Knicks with Los Angeles ties as the club faces the Clippers on Friday and the Lakers on Sunday. Williams revealed the Lakers, founders of Showtime, exhibited strong interest in him last summer, and they could be a threat to the Knicks if he opts out this July. “That’s my home,’’ Williams told The Post. “I’m from L.A., Orange County. I love it but at the same time I’m here, love playing in New York, home away from home. This weekend will be great. I haven’t been home since August. It’s always great to play before family and friends. I can’t wait to go back.’’

Williams told The Post he is undecided, pending how he finishes out the season. He is one of the few Knicks able to create his own shot — he made one lovely layup off a spin/drive — and is good at drawing fouls. “I’m just worried about playing well and helping this team win,” Williams said. “I love the atmosphere here. When we’re not at our best, the fans are still there. I’m just worried about the last [19] games. I’m really trying to push, man. If we do that, everything will be good.”

And for the Knicks it made little sense to make the second year an option for Williams, rather than to try to make it a team option. The $5 million deal, if he opts in, could be the difference between the Knicks being capable of making a maximum-contract offer to one of the free agents on the market this summer. In a free agent summer in which more than half the teams can offer the max, and some, such as the Lakers, have more than $60 million in cap room, the Knicks could be left on the outside looking in. But Williams explained that he didn’t want it any other way. “That was pretty much the whole plan all along,” he said Saturday morning. “I knew that I wanted to prove myself and prove my worth. I wanted a two-year deal with a player option after the first year.”
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April 30, 2017 | 8:03 pm EDT Update