Timberwolves president Flip Saunders informed Williams on that the team will pick up his contract option, worth $6.3 million, for next season. Williams’ raise next season -– he is making $5 million in 2013-14-- will put the Wolves very close to the league's luxury tax.
NBA teams have until the end of October to pick-up the option year on third-year players that were drafted in 2011 or the players will become restricted free agents next year.
Williams has been inconsistent since being the overall No. 2 selection in the 2011 NBA draft. He averaged 12.0 and 5.5 rebounds while shooting just 43 percent from the floor and 33.2 percent from beyond the arc. However, he averaged 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and shot 34 percent from 3-point range over the final 33 games of the season while filling in at power forward for the injured Kevin Love.
"I think everybody knows that if they didn't pick up my option I would have been unrestricted (free agent) and, basically, could have done whatever," Williams said after practice. "So it helps, the security. You're guaranteed at least one more year in the NBA, you know? And, as long as you have that, I think everything is good."
Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman, who hasn’t always been happy with the 22-year old’s effort, told the Associated Press that he has been pleased with how hard Williams has been working during training camp.
"I think he's played very hard," Adelman said. "He rebounded the ball very well the other night (against Boston) and it's a process for him. It's kind of a disadvantage when he has to play two spots because you're jumping back and forth. Right now that's what we have to do."
Williams is still adjusting to playing two positions -- small forward and his more natural position power forward – as he dropped 20 pounds this offseason and is the team’s third leading scorer and fourth leading rebounder this preseason. He is averaging 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks a game.
Currently, the Timberwolves have 12 players under contract for next season and are $5.1 over this year's cap which equates to $7.9 million dollar tax hit.