The Phoenix Suns are keeping one of their own, as late Sunday it was learned that forward/center Alan Williams, a restricted free agent, was agreeing to a new contract with the team.
The Vertical’s Shams Charania was the first to report the deal, which he says is for three years and $17 million.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported after the deal became official that the final two years were non-guaranteed.
Williams himself confirmed the news not long after.
Williams’ story is straight out of a storybook.
Having gone undrafted out of UC Santa Barbara, the 6-foot-8, 260-pound big man originally joined the Suns on a 10-day contract in March 2016. He appeared in just 10 games the rest of the way, averaging 2.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per outing, but did enough to convince the team to sign him to a multi-year contract.
The Phoenix native who attended North High School and whose mother was recently named the Chief of Police in Phoenix saw an increased role this past season, playing in 47 games while averaging 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 15.1 minutes per contest.
Williams really made an impression late in the season, as he took advantage of extra minutes by averaging 11.4 points and 9.1 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game after the All-Star break. He had done enough to solidify his role as a valuable NBA player, with ESPN’s Kevin Pelton going so far as to name him the 23rd-best free agent this offseason.
Getting regular playing time after the Suns shut down Tyson Chandler, Williams averaged 17.6 points and 14.8 rebounds per 36 minutes in his second NBA season. He’s one of the league’s best rebounders and a surprisingly effective shot-blocker at 6-foot-8.
Don’t be surprised if Williams forces his way into more playing time next season.
The buzz surrounding Williams led some to believe he may be bound for greener pastures. The New York Knicks reportedly reached out to him, though the Suns showed their interest by quickly offering him a four-year contract.
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