3:18pm: The Cavs, Clippers and Heat are among the teams to watch regarding Williams, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 Twin Cities, adding that there’s a “small chance” that the Pistons become involved (Twitter link). The return Minnesota would receive for Williams would be “minimal,” Wolfson also says.
11:49am: Rival teams believe the Wolves are making Mo Williams available to potential trade partners willing to relinquish a draft pick, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Williams is indeed available, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (on Twitter). Still, a source told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that there’s “almost zero chance” that Minnesota makes any deal this season, given the limited market for its veterans, as Deveney wrote earlier this morning.
The source who spoke with Deveney referred to the long-term financial commitments to some of those vets as stumbling blocks, but Williams is on a $3.75MM deal that only covers this season. Many executives and scouts who spoke with Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck for a December report identified Williams and teammate Thaddeus Young as likely trade candidates. Young has a player option worth almost $9.972MM for next season, and Krawczynski doesn’t get the sense that the Timberwolves want to trade Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic or perhaps Young, as the AP scribe wrote in his tweet.
Williams, a 12th-year veteran, has been starting in place of the injured Ricky Rubio, though the team does have lottery pick Zach LaVine and 10-day signee Lorenzo Brown in reserve. Williams’ 6.4 assists per game are his most since the 2010/11 season, and his 12.5 points per game represent a bounceback from his 9.7 PPG scoring average for the Blazers last season, the first time he hadn’t averaged double figures in points since his rookie year. Still, the now 32-year-old Williams wanted to return to Portland this past summer, and there was reportedly mutual interest in a deal with the Mavs before they signed Jameer Nelson instead.