Today we will have a look at one of Cleveland's own, 6' 9", 218 pound forward Jawad Williams, who is set to begin his third NBA season with his hometown team. It is worth noting that Jawad has not "taken his talents" elsewhere, unlike someone else from down I-77. Glad you stayed, Jawad.
Where Jawad came from:
Jawad Williams, born in 1983, attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood, playing limited time on the 1998 OHSAA championship team, before going on to play his college ball at North Carolina for the Tar Heels, under coaches Matt Doherty and Roy Williams.
Where Jawad has been:
After college Jawad went un-drafted in 2005, but signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Clippers before the 2006-07 season, appearing for the Clippers in the pre-season but not making the final roster. From there Jawad went to play in Spain, Japan and Israel before returning to the States and playing for the Cavs' Summer League team in 2008. His play in the Summer League earned him an invite to training camp with Cleveland, and he became a member of the 2008-09 squad in October. Williams stayed with the Cavs until January, when he was waived, but returned to the team five days later, signing a 10-day contract. He was again waived when that contract expired and went on to play for the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers (another name you gotta love) before coming back to Cleveland in April and signing a contract for the rest of the season. Jawad has been a Cavalier ever since.
What Jawad has achieved:
Jawad Williams has been part of two championship teams in his career. In 1998 he played limited minutes for the St. Edward High team that won the Ohio High School Athletic Association championship, and he started as a senior on the North Carolina team that won the NCAA tournament in 2005. In high school he was named a first-team All-Ohio player in his later years, and was named to several All-American teams. Jawad was named AP and Gatorade Player of the Year and played in the McDonald's All-American Game before leaving for Chapel Hill upon graduation. In the NBA, Williams has played in 64 games, all but ten of those games in the 2009-10 season. He has averaged just less than 12 minutes a game, and has put up 3.7 ppg and 1,3 rebounds per contest.
What we can expect to see from Jawad in the coming season:
Expect Jawad to be part of a dogfight to win the small forward contest with Jamario Moon and Joey Graham. Scoring won't be his strong suit, but he does have the best offensive game of the three. With enough minutes and strong play around him, Jawad could step up and be a solid contributor in 2010-11.