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Mutual Interest Between Cavs, Mo Williams

JUNE 30TH, 2:50pm: Williams anticipates that he’ll meet with the Cavs, and Cleveland is “very interested” in signing him, a source tells Haynes (on Twitter).

JUNE 19TH, 2:56pm: Soon-to-be free agent Mo Williams has strong interest in playing with the Cavs again, and he’d also like to re-sign with the Hornets, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. The point guard and Cleveland are expected to talk if Williams, who’s seeking a multiyear deal, is willing to take the limited amount the Cavs have to spend, and LeBron James would welcome the return of his former teammate “with open arms,” Haynes also hears.

The Cavs are almost certain to have no more than the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level to spend this summer. The full amount of that would represent a slight pay cut for the 12-year veteran who made more than $3.965MM on the one-year deal he signed this past summer with the Timberwolves. The contract originally called for him to make $3.5MM, but a trade kicker lifted that amount when Minnesota sent him to the Hornets in a February swap.

Cleveland is seeking a facilitating guard who can either back up or play alongside Kyrie Irving, as Brian Windhorst of reported this morning. Williams, 32, would presumably fit that mold, having played alongside Chris Paul with the Clippers a few years ago in spite of spending most of his career as a point guard and having averaged 5.0 assists per game for his career.  He was the starting point guard for the Cavs for two and a half seasons beginning in 2008, sharing the floor with James during the first two years. The Mark Bartelstein client averaged 14.2 points, 6.2 assists and 29.1 minutes per game this past season, split between Minnesota and Charlotte.

The Hornets have non-Bird rights with Williams, so they could give him a 20% raise without dipping into another exception. Charlotte is also likely to have the $5.434MM non-taxpayer’s mid-level at its disposal.

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20 thoughts on “Mutual Interest Between Cavs, Mo Williams

  1. Greendale

    They should tell him to take a hike after he cried into his bowel of cheerios after Lebron left the last time….

    • KnicksCavsFan

      I would say LBJ should be the only one to worry about. Mo tried to step up when LBJ left.

  2. KnicksCavsFan

    Mo would be a good choice to bring in because I think he could excel in a limited role where he isn’t asked to do too much. If he’s the ball handler and can maintain a 35% or better from 3pt land AND be willing to let it fly when needed then he can be of great value offensively. When asked to be a go to guy then that’s a worry as his overall FG % is below 40% of late. Also, he’s a bit undersized and isn’t a good perimeter defender. I fell like some of the bigger guards would abuse him if he’s out there as a starter if Irving gets hurt.

    My two ideal pickups this summer would be Kevin Martin and Corey Brewer.

    -Martin is from the Ohio area.
    -Can start at SG (in replace of Smith) or be a quality back up for both guard positions.
    -He’s tall enough at 6’7 to even play SF and rest LBJ for a few minutes OR bump LBJ to PF when teams are playing small ball with us (Irving-SG-Martin-LBJ-Thompson/Love)
    -He’s a great 3pt shooter @ an average of 39% the last 5 years.
    -He excelled off the bench when he played w/ OKC a few years ago so he’s experienced deferring to two high usage players like Westbrook and Durant.
    -He’s played with Kev Love for a full season and might gel well with him.

    He’s owed $7 mil per for 2015-16 and 2016-17. Minn isn’t going anywhere with him and might be willing to move his salary off the books and clear cap space. I can see the Cavs sending Haywood’s contract and the 24th pick to Minn. Minnie would clear Martin’s two years off their books and waive Haywood by aug 1st deadline and clear about $10 mil off of this years cap and Martin’s $7 mil from net years cap. That would give Minnie the 1st, 24th, 31st and 36th picks in this year’s draft which I’m sure they could bundle together to get something of use in a seperate trade scenario.

    I would also try and bring in Corey Brewer as a free agent. He would be a solid back up at both the SG and SF position. He’s NOT a great defender and doesn’t shoot well from 3pt range but he’s great on the break, fills the lanes, is a high energy guy and moves very well without the ball which is something the Cavs lack from their guards. I could also see him giving LBJ some rest and Blatt wouldn’t exactly be sending in a black hole offensively. He’s a solid perimeter defender and goes after the ball very well (1.4 steals a game career).

    I also feel, and this might be a bit of a reach, that with Martin (SG) and Brewer (SF) along with Love, a big and whoever is at the PG you almost create a very good second team, one that has chemistry from playing with each other in Minnie. Love and Brewer created soooooo many easy shots with Love and his absurd outlet passes to Brewer. I think Love would flourish with those two on the floor and you can ride them out for 10 minute spurts and rest LBJ without worrying about an offensive collapse.

    I know that was long but thoughts? I wish more ppl would come here. This an awesome forum for bball talk vs (uggg) ESPN.

    • Tim Dierkes

      We would love to get more people commenting! Please don’t hesitate yourself – if people see fewer zeros for comments on the posts, they’ll be more inclined to jump in. And our writing team loves commments too.

    • RobertG

      KnicksCavsFan: Very smart and intriguing post. As a TWolves fan, I have some thoughts and reactions. First off, from the Cavs pov, I think what you’re advocating makes great sense. I don’t know how they can fit Brewer into their cap situation, and Corey seems happy in Houston (he likes playing for McHale) from what I’ve heard, but maybe that can happen. But I’ll confirm that Love and K-Mart had great two-man actions together when they played here, and they would be a nice fit. And certainly Love and Brewer did great together, as you noted. So there’s good promise there.
      For the TWolves, I think trading K-Mart would be a good idea, for the reasons you suggested. The only wrinkle in your analysis is that the Wolves, while going young and rebuilding, obviously, believe (unlike Philly) that young guys need some veterans to teach them how to play and develop. So while the 24th, 31st, and 36th pick could be assets to move up in the draft, say, they aren’t really interested in having too many young projects. They already have their core young group (#1 pick hopefully KAT; Wiggins: Muhammed; LaVine, and some prayers in Payne, Bennett). What they want more than that is a reliable backup PG, a crystal ball to know if Bennett or Payne will actually be able to be a reliable PF in this league, and some on-court leadership. K-Mart did a great job of the mentoring and leadership part of this last year, and the Wolves like having him (and he liked being here, for the most part; he turned down a chance to get dealt at the deadline, apparently). So it could still be a good move for all parties but Flip would need to figure out how to flip those draft assets for something they really want. If there’s one young guy they really want I think they’d go get him, but they also need more mid-career vets to mentor these kids.

    • Chuck Myron

      Yes, we’d love to hear more from you! This is great stuff. Martin’s an intriguing fit for the Cavs because the Finals exposed that, beyond Irving and Love, Cleveland doesn’t have any reliable scoring to complement LeBron. That would be an especially acute problem if Love leaves.

      Brewer’s probably out of their price range, but I like his fit as a complementary player. He’d be a nice up-tempo small-ball kind of guy on the wing who could have helped against Golden State’s small lineups in the finals.

      • KnicksCavsFan

        Chuck: I admittedly do not have a complete grasp of cap restrictions but Brewer made just under $5 mil last year and that’s about what JR Smith made last year. I thought that maybe that would allow the Cavs to offer that much to Brewer if they allowed Smith to walk. Please advise.

        • Chuck Myron

          The Cavs will almost certainly end up with a team salary above the tax apron next season, so they’d be limited to paying out no more than the $3.376MM taxpayer’s mid-level to any outside free agent. It’s conceivable that he’d be willing to sign for that, but I think he’ll be able to command more.

          • KnicksCavsFan

            So you’re assuming (probably correct) that the difference between expiring contracts (Shump, Marion, Smith, etc) and the probably increases (Thompson, Love, etc) that they would be nearly maxed out aside from that tp mid-level exception?

          • Chuck Myron

            Yes, pretty much. They can always sign players for the minimum salary as long as they’re willing to pay the tax associated with them, and they can sign their own free agents and draft picks using Bird rights and the rookie exception (the rookie exception applies to first-rounders and lets you sign them to rookie scale contracts). But that’s it, aside from trades.

    • Guest

      They’re not acquiring anybody that costs money without first finding a sucker willing to take Varejao’s contract. A $7 million salary isn’t a $7 million salary after accounting for the luxury tax.

      • KnicksCavsFan

        There biggest asset right now is Haywood’s non-guaranteed contract for next year. If I’m understanding things correctly, his contract would allow them to at least acquire a player equalling the $10 mil salary he is due, and I think (not sure) that if cap space allowed, the Cavs (or the team that acquires him) could acquire talents up to the $15 mil mark. as well. So with that, the Cavs can take about $10 mil back in salary in a Haywood trade. That’s probably the only way they can acquire an impact player (even though I think they are more interested in a mid-tier part time guy or full time SG to replace Smith).

    • Nate

      Easily best team in East with these off season moves

  3. Bryce

    Love the Kevin Martin to Cavs idea. Only issue would be his durability. He always seems to miss time.

  4. Alphonso

    No don’t do it wasn’t he around for the first playoff run with James his first seven seasons and wasn’t he a bum in the playoffs boobie stepped up more then mo

    • KnicksCavsFan

      Mo only played 2 years with LBJ and a total of 3. He was already a 5 year vet before coming to Cleveland so you might have him mistaken with someone else. He actually performed up to his standard in the playoffs with the Cavs. 15 pts, 5 assists and 35% from 3pt land.

      I think the fact that he was considered (arguably) the 2nd option behind LBJ made him look worse than he actually was. Not his fault. But on a better team he would’ve been viewed differently.

  5. Otomatic

    what about this
    Kyrie Irving/Shane Larkin/Matthew Dellaevedova
    Iman Shumpert/J.R. Smith/Joe Harris
    Lebron James/Dorell Wright/Alonzo Gee
    Kevin Love/ Anderson Varejao/Mike Miller
    Timofey Mozgov/Tristan Thompson/Rakeem Christmas

  6. Femi

    Mo is too inconsistent on offense!!!

  7. KnicksCavsFan

    I would prefer a backup with a little more size and athleticism to go up against the bigger guards but with a limited amount of money I would consider Mo to be a good pick. He had some of his better years playing alongside LBJ. As a BACKUP player at both guard positions his limited role might actually bring a better player out of him since he can focus on what is asked of him.

  8. Robbie

    I dunno if he retired or not, but I think Andre Miller would be a good short term investment. Granted he can’t really play the 2 and isn’t much of a scorer, he is easily the best passer and playmaker on the market for a low price. Just depends how much he has left in the tank.

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