This is a great get for Portland, they now have a lot of flexibility with their backcourt.
It was a surprise to a number of people around the league that Williams was still on the board — he’s a solid, quality point guard who averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 assists a game last season, plus he shot 38 percent from three. Bringing him off the bench behind the Rookie of the Year Lillard is going to boost the second unit (and you can likely play Lillard and Williams together if you want to go small).
Last season Portland had a good starting five but a real lack of depth did them in (especially when there were injuries). This summer they have remedied that with the additions of Williams, Thomas Robinson, C.J. McCollum and Dorell Wright. Portland may have flown under the radar this summer, but they have done some great work building a roster.
The West is deep and a number of teams — the Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans, and Timberwolves are all going to be in the mix for just a couple of playoff spots at the bottom of the West (Denver could be in that mix, depending how far you think they step back). Portland is certainly a team that could get the 7 or 8 seed as well.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.