The Philadelphia 76ers have signed former Trail Blazers shooting guard Elliot Williams to an undisclosed contract. Williams was drafted by the Trail Blazers with the 22nd overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft, but only played 24 games in red and black due to severe shoulder and ankle injuries.
Despite seeing limited action in Portland, Elliot Williams was held in high regard by the team and the fans. He and the Trail Blazers had a mutual interest heading into the 2013-2014 season, but ultimately parted ways as Neil Olshey restructured the roster.
During the summer Williams was invited to participate in the Cleveland Cavaliers training camp, where he competed for a spot behind 4th overall pick of the 2012 NBA draft, Dion Waiters. The Cavaliers decided not to employ Williams’ services, having signed C.J. Miles to a two year deal on August 3rd.
All of this worked out for the best, as Philadelphia may be the most tailored fit for him in the league. The rebuilding/tanking Sixers are ultra-thin at shooting guard with James “Who?” Anderson starting and an absent Jason Richardson recovering from knee surgery. Elliot Williams stands to see real minutes with no real expectations.
I am eager to see what he can do, but there are significant question marks. While he is still just 24 years old, his explosiveness was his standout trait with the Trail Blazers. Will he be able to match it and grow after knee surgery and a torn achilles, among other medical red flags?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see—but the point is that we have the privilege of doing so. No one had to sign Williams, but the Sixers have gifted him the opportunity of a second chance. It’s up to him to earn it. Watch closely to see how and when head coach Brett Brown sneaks him into rotation.