The front office has heard the same thing, on numerous occasions, just not from the player.
The Cavs weighed waiving Williams now — influenced by the appearance that he doesn’t seem to intend on playing — and having his salary spread out over three years
The Cavaliers’ bind: Williams opted into the final year of his contract at $2,194,500. He probably wants as much money as possible. They’d obviously prefer not to pay him, especially since the luxury tax multiplies their cost.
One option was waiving and stretching Williams, so his salary would count only a third this year (and a third each of the next two years), but the stretch deadline was yesterday. That drew consideration because of the implicit threat Williams would forge through the season at less than full ability and collect all his money.
That’s probably why Williams hasn’t talked to the Cavs directly. To get any of his salary, he needs them to believe he might play.
But if he doesn’t report, Cleveland doesn’t have to pay him. The team could just wait that out.
Or this stalemate could open the door for a buyout. Williams gets some, but not all, his salary to walk away.
Now that the stretch deadline has passed, the Cavs are even more incentivized to wait for Williams’ next move.