The Miami Heat began their next chapter when they signed Derrick Williams to a one-year contract on Friday.
Williams will reportedly earn $5 million for the 2016-17 season. There is no option on the deal which means Williams will enter next off-season as an unrestricted free agent. This contract gives both Williams and the Heat the opportunity to possibly seek other directions a year from now.
The 25-year old confirmed the signing on his Twitter account and quickly showed his excitement about the franchise.
Having as much salary available as possible next off-season is clearly a priority for Miami. The free agent market will feature multiple franchise players and the Heat are sure to try and land at least one. Among the names who could be on the market next year are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Stephen Curry.
Williams gives Miami an option in multiple ways. If Chris Bosh is able to play, Williams could start alongside him on some days, or serve as a member of the rotation. If Bosh is not able to suit up, Williams would likely join Justise Winslow in the starting lineup for at least part of the season. Miami could still make more moves this off-season as well with plenty of roster spots remaining.
In 80 games with the New York Knicks last season, Williams did a solid job. Coming off the bench most of the time, Williams averaged just under 18 minutes per game with nine points and nearly four rebounds per contest. With Miami, the minutes total could go up some.
Miami still has around $14 million remaining to spend on free agents and it will likely use those funds for one-year deals.