Cleveland Cavaliers: What To Expect From Deron Williams
Already the clear favorites for the Eastern Conference title, the Cleveland Cavaliers will get stronger with the addition of Deron Williams.
It may have taken a few weeks, but LeBron James finally got his wish.
And following Deron Williams‘ recent buyout with the Dallas Mavericks, James got the additional playmaker he was after. While Williams’ signing can’t be completed until Monday, the official paperwork is now a mere formality.
In Williams, the Cavs are fortunate to be getting such an overqualified point guard to back up Kyrie Irving. Still just 32, Williams has started in 93 percent of his career 821 games.
Now in his 12th season, Williams is a three-time all-star, two-time Olympic gold medallist and was named to the all-NBA second team on two occasions.
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In 40 games this season for the Mavericks, Williams averaged 13.1 points and 6.9 assists in 29.1 minutes per game. The one knock on Williams in recent seasons has been his durability. Only once in his past seven seasons has Williams played more than 68 games.
In his days with the Brooklyn Nets, Williams endured multiple ankle problems which seemed to noticeably affect his productivity.
But most recently in Dallas, his injuries have varied and have not been particularly serious.
However, in his new home in Cleveland, his new role as a backup is sure to see a decrease in the amount of wear and tear Williams endures on his body. Initial expectations would likely see Williams average 15-20 minutes per game coming off the bench.
The added bonus of possessing a player like Williams is that given Irving’s own history of injury, the Cavs now have a more than capable backup to fill-in if Irving needs to be rested at various stages of the home stretch of the season.
Another benefit of the signing is that it is sure to ease some of the burden on James.
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As it stands, James is second in the league in minutes with 37.5 per game. Part of the reason for James’ public proclamation was certainly the amount of offensive load he was handling.
And although it’s great for the Cavs that James is averaging a career-high 8.9 assists per game, allowing him extra moments during games to let Williams and Irving take over the ball handling duties will be beneficial come playoff time.
The Williams signing represents an extremely busy period for the Cavs’ general manager, David Griffin. Just weeks prior to James’ public rhetoric, Griffin orchestrated a deal to acquire sharpshooter Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks.
With the recent roster upgrades of both the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards, Griffin is certainly doing his best to keep the Cavaliers ahead of the curve.
And the addition of a three-time All-Star such as Deron Williams is another example of a first-class front office.