"It was kind of an easy decision for me, I think," Williams said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. "I definitely looked at a couple other teams. But once Dallas informed me they kind of wanted to go in a different direction, the Cavs were the first team that jumped out at me. A lot of times you overthink things. I kind of went with my first thought."
The 32-year-old Williams has played the past two seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. There had been speculation about the three-time All-Star being traded before Thursday's deadline, but nothing came of those rumblings.
Immediately after the trade deadline passed, the Mavs placed Williams on waivers.
Williams is no longer the high-end contributor he was during his peak seasons with the Utah Jazz and early in his tenure with the then-New Jersey Nets. He's enjoyed a solid campaign for Dallas, however, averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists per contest while shooting 34.8 percent from three across 40 games.
One of his best performances of the season came against the Phoenix Suns in mid-January. He put up 23 points and 12 assists with just one turnover. Afterward, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle noted the impact Williams had on the game, per Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.
"Deron had a great night as a playmaker, a scorer, and he was involved in a lot of what we were doing defensively," Carlisle said. "And down the stretch, he was really running the team. He was calling the plays, and when you have a veteran guy who has the pulse of the game, things tend to flow better."
Those type of nights weren't doing a ton to help the Mavericks, though, and it became clear owner Mark Cuban would do what he could to start building the roster for the future.
Williams, who signed a one-year contract in July, was an expendable piece. His deal has a $9 million cap hit, per Spotrac, and he'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Even if he doesn't provide the expected boost to the Cavaliers, he'll come off their books at season's end.
And Williams' presence will be welcome in Cleveland. LeBron James has made repeated calls for the Cavaliers front office to add another player capable of leading the offense, and general manager David Griffin finally obliged him.
The Illinois product will slot in behind Kyrie Irving. In order to get their latest acquisition more minutes, Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue will likely feature at least one lineup with Irving and Williams on the floor together, as well.
It's certainly a golden opportunity for Williams to chase his first NBA title. That said, his role in the playoffs will depend on how well he meshes with the existing rotation during the rest of the regular season.