The Portland Trail Blazers have made a roster move, announcing the waiving of guard Jeenathan Williams, according to reports by The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The decision to waive Williams does not come as a surprise, as he had a $1.7 million contract guarantee set for July 31. By releasing him now, the Blazers can save that money and explore other options for their roster.
Jeenathan Williams, a 24-year-old athletic 6’5″ shooting guard, went undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft. However, he showcased his talent during his college basketball career with the Buffalo Bulls, where he posted impressive numbers, averaging 19.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his senior season, earning First-team All-MAC honors.
Despite being waived, Williams might still have a chance to return to the Blazers’ roster. There are several possibilities for his future with the team. He could potentially be re-signed as their third two-way player, joining Ibou Badji and John Butler Jr. Alternatively, he may join the Blazers’ G League Team, the Rip City Remix, as a player without a two-way contract.
During his brief time with the Blazers, Williams appeared in five games, averaging 10.6 points, three rebounds, and two assists. He was signed to a two-year deal in April, with the first year of the contract ending this past season. While the second year of the deal was not guaranteed, it would have become guaranteed next Tuesday had he remained on the roster.
Before his stint with the Trail Blazers, Williams showcased his skills in the G League with Salt Lake City, where he impressed with an average of 14.4 points on 53.3% shooting (41.7% from beyond the arc).
The decision to waive Jeenathan Williams reflects the competitive nature of NBA roster management, with teams constantly evaluating their options to optimize their lineup. General Manager Joe Cronin made the announcement, and the Blazers will now assess their options moving forward to fill the vacant spot left by Williams’ departure.