Vipers Complete Second Season In D-League
[April 08, 2009]
NBA's Cavaliers call up Williams [The Monitor, McAllen, Texas]
(Monitor (McAllen, TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Apr. 8--MCALLEN -- The Cleveland Cavaliers called up Vipers forward Jawad Williams on Wednesday. He is expected to sign a contract for the rest of the NBA season Thursday.
Williams, who is already in Cleveland, averaged 25.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 45.4 percent from the floor and 41.8 percent on 3-pointers in 19 games. He was recently named the D-League's player of the month for March.
A starter in North Carolina's 2005 NCAA championship team, Williams made the Cavaliers' opening-day roster but saw limited playing time in nine games. With the Vipers, the 6-foot-9, 218-pound forward averaged 36.5 minutes per game.
"It really just gave me a chance to play," Williams said of coming to the Vipers. "At the beginning of the year I didn't get much playing time at all. I was getting a little rusty. Nothing can replace game time. It gave me a chance to play and hone some of the things I needed to work on." Williams said his agent kept him abreast of interest from NBA teams while he was with the Vipers, who were in Austin to play the Toros on Wednesday. As it turned out, the team Williams spent the first half of the season with was the one that called him back to the NBA.
Williams is the second non-assignment Vipers player to be called up to the NBA. Golden State Warriors guard C.J. Watson was Rio Grande Valley's first Gatorade Call-Up last season.
"I had a great time there," Williams said. "It was a great learning experience for me. I got to play with different guys. I had fun there. Just being in the minor leagues is always a great bonding experience with your teammtates. It's guys trying to achieve a goal and get to the NBA. I'm just blessed." Also called up Wednesday was Austin forward Marcus Williams, who is joining the San Antonio Spurs. The 6-7 Williams averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game for the Toros this season.
In other Vipers news, the team waived Stanley Asumnu (broken nose) and acquired 7-1, 235-pound center Rashid Byrd from the D-League player pool. Byrd played in 19 games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders he averaged 4.9 ppg and 3.7 rpg in 15.7 minutes. He was waived Jan. 27.
Todd Mavreles covers the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for Valley Freedom Newspapers. You can reach him at (956) 683-4451.