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 ESPN.com 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.