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Report: Suns clear needed cap space by waiving Alan Williams

Williams had one 1-year remaining, but it was non-guaranteed. Now, Phoenix can sign Trevor Ariza with no juggling needed.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This seemed like a formality before free agency even began, but after the Phoenix Suns signed Trevor Ariza to a 1-year, $15 million deal right after the clock hit 9 pm AZ time, Alan Williams had to be shedded to fit him under their allotted cap space.

Last year, Williams stayed in Phoenix signing a 3-year, $17 million contract after rumored interest from the New York Knicks. However, those final two seasons were non-guaranteed allowing Phoenix to release him to recover much-needed wiggle room to sign immediate contributors.

Williams was one of the most productive bench big men two seasons ago, snatching double-doubles left and right but an unfortunate meniscus tear occurred in September during a team workout, derailing his opportunity to gain heavier minutes. He returned late in the season for 5 games after having a few performances with the NAZ Suns to help catch up to game speed.

Expect Phoenix to try to re-sign Williams for a much cheaper value than $5.5 million, but he has to clear waivers beforehand.

Williams, a Phoenix native, should also look to stay in the Valley if he’s looking for consistent rotation minutes in 2018-19. With Deandre Ayton locked in as the long term starter, he could fill in as the backup center on nights where Tyson Chandler is resting (expect him not to play much back-to-backs, if at all).

The only non-guaranteed deals Phoenix still has on their plate are Davon Reed and Shaquille Harrison, and they pushed Reed’s decision back until after he plays in Summer League.

Stay tuned for more breaking free agency news revolving around the Suns this week as it develops.