Former Illinois point guard Deron Williams just saw his chances of playing in the NBA Finals skyrocket.
Williams, who played at Illinois from 2002-05, has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.
Deron Williams will sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 25, 2017
Williams, 32, will be the backup point guard for a Cavaliers team that holds the Eastern Conference’s best record at 40-16.
Williams averaged 11 points and 6.8 assists in his three seasons at Illinois. As a junior in 2004-05, he led the Big Ten in assists (264) and assists per game (6.8), and was named second-team All-America as the Fighting Illini reached the national title game.
Since being selected No. 3 overall by the Utah Jazz in the 2005 NBA Draft, Williams has played 12 NBA seasons for three teams, reaching three All-Star games.
Williams was averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 assists per game for the Dallas Mavericks before negotiating his release to sign with the Cavaliers.
The last Illinois alum to play in the NBA Finals was Brian Cook for the 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers.