News broke on Thursday morning that the Cleveland Cavaliers signed recently released Miami Heat forward Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract.
At 6’8″, Williams can play multiple positions on the floor, which is what the Cavs were looking for when surveying the free-agent landscape. Williams can also be a valuable asset to the team as he can relieve Kevin Love of minutes and even games. This would help the team out because they could rest Love for a period of time, due to the fact he has dealt with a few minor back problems so far this season.
As the team stands now, Williams may not have much of a role, but the main reason I see this signing by the Cavs working out is that they can rest Love, or LeBron James and still have a player that is a serviceable replacement. Williams may not be flashy or even the “playmaker” James desires, but at the very least he is a stopgap for the Cavs as they maneuver through the long road of an 82 game season.
While we all know Williams is a drop-off from what Love brings to the floor, as he averages just 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds for his career. The Cavs could benefit from using Channing Frye in the starting lineup in place of Love, while Williams would then slide into the bench role that Frye normally occupates. It is a chance for Frye to get more minutes as well as seeing what Williams can bring to the team.
This scenario would not be ideal, but as we all know the Cavs end game is to have their top players healthy in June, so they are willing to sacrifice a few regular season games in order to give their players rest and be ready for when the championship chase begins in mid-April.
Williams is an interesting option for the Cavs to use, he is not a bad talent, he just has been stuck on some of the lesser teams in the NBA during his time in the league. Giving Love some much-needed rest is good for the Cavs and seeing what Williams can do not that he is finally on a top-level team is what makes this a low-risk, high reward move.