After signing a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers last Thursday and playing a solid game for them later that day. Following the game he even received a lot of congratulatory messages from his former coach and teammates.
Erik Spoelstra admitted via Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post that he sent Williams text messages before and after his first game for the Cavs. He said he was happy for him and wished him well in his journey with his new team.
“I was happy for him. I sent him a congratulations after, even though they lost. It was good to see. So much of this league is about preparing yourself mentally and physical to being in top shape and then be ready for the right opportunity at the right time and hopefully this is what that is.”
The 46-year-old head coach also talked about his former player, remaining professional despite not receiving a lot of playing time with the Heat.
“He really approached the last few months in the right way and that’s why we both felt we benefited from it. It was great having him around. He embraced our culture work ethic got in tremendous shape. That will allow him now moving onto the next spot that he’s ready and the next part is what this league about, the right place at the right time and the right opportunity. It could be different on different teams.”
Even Goran Dragic had well wishes for him and even called Williams a great teammate.
— Goran Dragić (@Goran_Dragic) February 7, 2017
The Heat waived the 25-year-old Arizona product to create a roster space for promising young forward Okaro White, who they called up from their D-League affiliate. Williams asked to be released and got team president Pat Riley‘s assurance that they will allow him to seek other opportunities after clearing waivers.
Pat Riley is a man of his word. Ultimate respect.
— Derrick Williams (@DWXXIII) February 6, 2017