Cleveland Cavaliers vs Dallas Mavericks, November 25, 2016
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (R) takes a swipe at the ball as Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams drives to the basket in the first quarter, November 25, 2016, at Quicken Loans Arena.
John Kuntz, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Kyle Korver spoke with his good friend Deron Williams Thursday night about joining the Cavs.
Korver would later say there wasn’t much of a sales pitch needed to convince Williams to come to Cleveland.
But whatever Korver said worked. Williams cleared waivers from the Dallas Mavericks and will sign with the Cavs for the rest of this season either Sunday or Monday.
“He wants to be a part of an opportunity to win a championship,” Korver said of Williams Saturday, before the Cavs were to host the Chicago Bulls. “And just being here the whole time I’ve been here, and just seeing where there are some of the holes, or not holes, but where we can be better and knowing who he is and his skill set, I think it’s an incredible fit. He’s a guy that can play with the ball, he can play off the ball. He’s a good shooter, he’s a smart player. He can switch on defense, he’s a bigger body. I just think he’s a really good fit all around.”
The Cavs have searched for a backup point guard all season, and have coveted Williams going back to the summer of 2015. Williams is more than a backup – he’s a five-time All-Star who was 13.1 points in 40 starts for the Mavericks this season.
But at age 32, the 6-3 Williams will indeed play behind Kyrie Irving on most nights, but will also give coach Tyronn Lue a chance to rest Irving and LeBron James in March.
As for Korver and Williams, the two were teammates and golfing buddies with the Utah Jazz from 2007-10.
Korver, who came to the Cavs in a trade from Atlanta in January, told his good friend that “this is a great team to be on.
“The locker room is amazing,” Korver said. “I think you’re always wondering about that in the back of your mind. Just tried to tell him that these guys are great and they’re welcoming. You’re going to have no problem fitting in.”