C.J. Williams

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Reversing reported course, Clippers fully guarantee Milos Teodosic’s salary

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The Clippers reportedly wanted to move on from point guard Milos Teodosic.

Teodosic opted in anyway, guaranteeing $2.1 million of his $6.3 million salary. Why not get as much money as possible on the way out?

But apparently Teodosic isn’t leaving L.A., as his contract became fully guaranteed yesterday.

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

The Clippers are expected to keep guard Milos Teodosic despite their crowded backcourt, according to an NBA official not authorized to speak publicly.

The Clippers traded guard Austin Rivers for center Marcin Gortat since the initial report, but that hardly ended the backcourt logjam. Patrick Beverley, Avery Bradley, Lou Williams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jerome Robinson, C.J. Williams and Jawun Evans remain at guard.

The bigger logjam is with the overall roster, though. The Clippers now have 17 players on standard contracts, two more than the regular-season limit. That doesn’t bode well for Williams, whose salary is unguaranteed. Without another trade, Evans or Sindarius Thornwell could get cut.

Why the change of heart on Teodosic? Perhaps, he’s progressing better than expected medically. The 31-year-old missed 37 games last season with a foot injury, and there was concern about his long-term health. But when on the court, he’s a dazzling passer and long-distance shooter. Being slowed won’t help his already-woeful defense, though.

The Clippers were already over the cap, and they’re in little danger of entering the luxury tax. So, the only costs of guaranteeing Teodosic are owner Steve Ballmer’s real money, a roster spot and him potentially blocking playing time of L.A.’s lottery-pick guards. But the Clippers could even cut Teodosic in the preseason if someone else emerges as more deserving of the roster spot, and Doc Rivers can choose whether to play Teodosic or Gilgeous-Alexander and Robinson.

So, the biggest development is the roster spot. Teodosic is now extremely likely to hold it into the season, which means monitoring who gets dripped.

Report: Clippers’ C.J. Williams going from two-way deal to multi-year contract

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This was the goal when the NBA expanded the roster by two by adding two-way contracts to the mix, allowing players to develop between the G-League and the NBA big club.

The combination of injuries and roster changes gave C.J. Williams a chance at the two-guard with the Clippers this season, and he took advantage, starting 18 games and playing in 36 total for the team. It was enough that Los Angeles is giving him a multi-year contract, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

How much of that deal, if any beyond this season, is fully guaranteed remains to be seen.

Williams was respectable for the Clippers this season, even if his raw numbers were not overwhelming — 5.3 points, 1.4 rebounds, 1 assists per game shooting 31% from three (on a couple of attempts per night). He was solid defensively but needs to be a more consistent outside scoring threat (which he was in the G-League).

Williams is 28 years old, he can improve some but he’s not going to make massive leaps. That said, at an affordable price (this deal is almost certainly at or near the minimum) he can be a reliable addition to the roster.