Derrick Williams signed a 10-day contract yesterday with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is not the play-maker Lebron has been pleading for, but he does offer a few positives to this Cavaliers team.
1.) He is a combo forward who can bang down-low and guard the 3 or 4 spot. This allows Lebron to stay on the perimeter or guard the opposing teams weaker player. No disrespect to James, but it just makes more sense to put Lebron on the opposing teams weaker scoring option. This allows Lebron to sit and read the play, looking for steals & fast break oppurtunites. Also, he can assert his energy on the offensive side even more!
2.) Williams is a young healthy body. This gives the Cavs insurance in case of any injury and prevents Richard Jefferson from playing too many minutes in the regular season. Hopefully, that can apply to Lebron too!
3.) How does he match up with the Warriors? This is assuming his 10- day contract gets extended for the full year which we will have to wait and see. The cavs would probably sign him to another 10-day contract before deciding since they can use 2, 10-day contracts. OK, now back to his match up with the Warriors. Williams like I mentioned before could guard the opposing 3 or 4 position, allowing Lebron to strictly guard KD (which I assume he would prefer since I believe he has the mental and physical edge on him). Derrick Williams, in this situation could guard Draymond Green in his limited action. Williams is strong, tough, and would not back down from Greens physical style and he would also have the foot speed to stay with Draymond off the dribble. By no means am I saying Derrick Williams is the final answer the Cavs need to beat the Warriors, but it does give the Cavs one more match-up they can try to use to stop the high powered Warriors.
4.) Offensively, he gives the Cavs a few unique plays they can use to help keep their shooters free when they go small (Love-Williams-Bron-Korver/Jr-Kyrie) because if another team switches a smaller player on Williams he has the ability to bully them low and get an easy lay-up. This is something Lebron loves to do, but quite frankly, Lebron normally has the ball in his hands so this opportunity only happens a few times. We saw the Cavs utilize this last night against the OKC Thunder. Lebron started the offense at the top of the key, while Williams made a pick under the hoop for Korver. The Thunder switched the pick in fear of Korver getting a free look from 3 point land (which they should have been if they watched him go 8-9 from 3pt against the Pacers), in exchange for Lebron finding Derrick Williams under the hoop with his defender sealed. This just gives the Cavs another pick your poison situation which Lebron will always make the right read.
5.) He understands he is a role player who just wants to win. “That’s really my three big things: energy, effort and efficiency every single night. I think if you do that, you have a good chance of winning.” That’s exactly what he brought in his first game with the Cavaliers. Williams went 3-3 with 12 points. Although, he didn’t grab a single rebound, he still brought energy and efficiency. With that said, I think Derrick Williams has a good chance to staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the reminder of the season.