Jason Williams was ahead of his time -- if YouTube existed when he came into the league, he'd have made at least a couple of All-Star games simply because of fan popularity. Even so, he had a nice run in the NBA, evolving into a solid shooter after injuries robbed his ability to play at his old breakneck speed.
He's had a devil of a time staying healthy the last several years (he missed nearly 20 games a year during his time with the Heat) so it wasn't a huge surprise when he announced his retirement last September. But, as it so often happens with athletes pushed out of the game after frustrations with injury, he's changed his mind, filing paperwork with the league earlier this month in hopes of getting the green light to come back.
Players who officially file retirement papers with the league ordinarily have to wait a full year before they're eligible to be reinstated, which is why most players who want to leave the door open to join a team in the stretch run (ie, P.J. Brown last year) never officially file papers. For Williams to be granted an exception, he'll need to get unanimous approval for all 30 teams.
Assuming that happens, there's still another obstacle Williams will need to clear before signing with a contender. He signed a modest one-year deal with the Clippers in August before announcing his retirement in September, so the Clippers technically still own his rights. It's unlikely that Williams would go through the trouble of coming back if playing for the 13-42 Clippers were his only option, so a buyout is likely.
If Williams is reinstated, and if the Clippers agree to let him go, where will he go? While a lot will depend on what kind of shape he's in, several teams could use a veteran point guard.
Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski suggests a reunion with the Heat as a possibility, and I tend to agree. Rookie Mario Chalmers has been solid, but Williams, who won a ring with Dwyane Wade in 2006, would be a nice insurance policy off the bench. The Celtics could use a bit more depth, especially after losing Tony Allen for two months due to thumb surgery.
The Magic picked up Rafer Alston at the deadline to replace the injured Jameer Nelson, but if they're looking to get even deeper, Williams is familiar with Stan Van Gundy from their days together in Miami and has the three-point touch necessary to produce in that offense.