Well, that was fast.
Less than a week after news came out that former lottery pick Terrence Williams would work out for the Pistons, he has reportedly signed a training camp contract with the team, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.
With the minimum contract being just for training camp, Williams will have to fight to make the opening night roster considering the team’s depth at small forward, his natural position. His main competition would likely be rookie Khris Middleton and the enigmatic Austin Daye, two players who have yet to prove much with the team (granted, Middleton hasn’t actually played a game).
If the former Louisville star has a “lights-out” training camp and outperforms the other small forwards on the roster, Joe Dumars and company will have a tough decision to make. Do you take a risk, albeit a small one, on an extremely talented but troubled guard and hope that head coach Lawrence Frank – who coached Williams for 16 of his rookie season games – can turn him around? Or do you roll with the current roster and hope that either Middleton, who was a bit of a reach in the draft, or Daye, who has lost his offensive touch completely in 2012, pan out during the season?
Considering he was the last rookie signed to the team, and filled up the 15th roster spot, it’s not unbelievable to think that Middleton could get the ax in favor of Williams. Daye’s nearly $3 million contract will come off the books at the end of this season (barring the Pistons picking up his qualifying offer), so it makes financial sense to keep him or trade him during the season should he increase his trade value. Middleton, though, has the same contract size and is more of an unknown quantity, especially after a junior year knee injury severely affected his draft stock.
Despite his character issues, Williams is just 25 and was the 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft. His best season – his rookie year – saw him collect eight double-doubles and a triple-double, showing off his incredible athleticism. He has since played 18 or less games in the last two seasons for two different teams, but he could be a solid option at guard if the Pistons decide to go with a bigger lineup.