The Road Trippin’ podcast with Richard Jefferson is one of the most candid and sometimes revealing pods in the game, and the most recent episode featuring Dave McMenamin tiptoed around the idea that Deron Williams did not really enjoy his time with the Cavaliers after being bought out by the Mavericks.
Richard Jefferson: “When you ask Deron about golf, his eyes light up. When you ask Deron about MMA, his eyes light up.”
Dave McMenamin: “-What about when you talk to him about coming off the bench for the Cavaliers?”
Jefferson: “His eyes did not light up, his eyes did not light up.”
Chris Geeter: “What about when the Warriors saw him coming off the bench?”
Jefferson: “Their eyes lit up”
It’s important to note that the gang was laughing and having fun throughout this exchange. Taken out of context, it could look like they were taking a shot at Williams, but it was clearly a lighthearted conversation.
With that said, it certainly doesn’t seem like Williams loved his time as a backup with the Cavaliers, which makes sense. The team floundered in the back half of the season after Williams arrival, he played a role he’s never played in his entire life, and completely collapsed during the NBA Finals.
Williams had his moments while averaging 7.5 points and 3.6 assists as a Cavalier, but shot 13 percent (!!) from the field against the Warriors while averaging one point per game and 1.2 assists in 12.2 minutes.
Also, this admittedly throwaway tidbit from the pod might have indicated why the Cavaliers decided to move on from Williams and didn’t appear to pursue bringing him back this summer, and it’s information we don’t really get from the outside.
Sure, there’s a real case that bringing Deron back would’ve been a better basketball fit than Derrick Rose, but if Deron wasn’t interested in coming back or didn’t enjoy his time in Cleveland, than it’s hardly worth trying to convince him to stick around.
Regardless, this is the kind of inside look at the Cavaliers that makes Road Trippin’ worth listening to, beyond the entertainment value and general insanity that the show brings. Every now and again, the gang accidentally drops some knowledge.