Skyforce Make Preseason Move to Get Big Man
This latest Sioux Falls Skyforce exchange sends out the rights of a shooting guard and former 2-way contract player and brings in the rights of a talented post presence and former G League All-Star.
Guard Matt Williams, Jr. who spent his first professional season mostly with the Skyforce and briefly in Miami with the Heat (3 games) by way of Central Florida. Williams is now the property of the Grand Rapids Drive who also get a first-round pick in the exchange. Last season with Sioux Falls, Williams averaged 10.1 points over 43 games, hitting 39 percent of his three-point shots.
What Sioux Falls will get is a 6-10 player in Raphiael Putney who finished his college career at Massachusetts before breaking through with Rio Grande Valley as a tryout player. From there Putney played internationally in Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Malaysia, earning MVP honors in the Seri Mutiara Champions Cup title game. Putney earned his All-Star credentials with RGV in 2016, played in Venezuela, Italy, and Puerto Rico.
Putney also pulled off a rare feat by playing scant minutes in 2017 during a Summer League game with Minnesota before being signed hours later by Phoenix and got 18 more minutes played. Erie scooped up Putney in the G League expansion draft but waited until the second week of the regular season to join the BayHawks who eventually made the playoffs then fell in the Eastern Conference finals to Raptors 905.
Over 46 games (36 starts), Putney averaged 16.3 points, 8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Against Sioux Falls on November 24, 2017, Putney fought through foul trouble to score 10 points with 2 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block. His most recent action came with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2018 Summer League.
Grand Rapids received Putney in a three-team transaction on September 17 with Erie and the Oklahoma City Blue.