Well, that didn't last long.
The Lakers have waived Shawne Williams, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) January 7, 2014
The team's official Twitter account confirmed the news:
OFFICIAL: Lakers waive forward Shawne Williams. The roster now stands at 14 players. Press Release: http://t.co/2EiqVneHhW— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 7, 2014
Williams was signed to a non-guaranteed one-year deal in September, per ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin, so Los Angeles had the option of waiving him ahead of the Jan. 7 deadline when his contract would've become fully guaranteed.
Four months ago, this outcome would have seemed somewhat surprising. Williams was clearly brought in because of his past success with head coach Mike D'Antoni while on the New York Knicks.
Under D'Antoni in 2010-11, Williams notched career highs in minutes (20.7), points (7.1), rebounds (3.7) and three-point shooting (40.1 percent), quickly establishing himself as a valuable stretch forward.
After flaming out with the then-New Jersey Nets in 2011-12, Williams spent all of 2012-13 outside the NBA, before syncing up with D'Antoni again in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he was unable to duplicate previous success.
Through 32 appearances, Williams averaged 5.2 points on 37.7 percent shooting overall and 32.7 percent from deep per game. His PER upon departure also checks in at 9.4, well below the league average of 15.
Williams' skill set had also become somewhat redundant, as noted by Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding:
Ryan Kelly, who was selected 48th overall by Los Angeles in last summer's draft, is considered a stretch 4 as well. In limited action, he's proved efficient, drilling 48.1 percent of his field-goal attempts while posting a 41.1 percent clip from deep.
During his time with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA's Developmental League, Kelly separated himself even further, averaging 25.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. His shooting percentages—41.9 overall, 25.2 from deep—failed to impress, but he's shown he can knock down shots when given the opportunity.
Parting ways with Williams should open up more playing time for Kelly, who presents more upside at 22 than Williams does at 27. D'Antoni loves his stretch forwards and with Williams gone, that leaves Kelly as the lone floor-spacing 4.
W/Williams being waived, Ryan Kelly could see a minutes spike as the lone stretch four on the roster. D'Antoni's been pleased w/him of late.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 7, 2014
"All I can say is that every single day, I'm doing my best to earn my spot," Kelly said on the prospect of being waived, via the Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus. "I make it past this date, then I'm on a one-year deal."
Unlike Williams, Kelly made it.