Cavs Notes: Williams, J.R. Smith, Blatt

Mo Williams is a client of Mark Bartelstein but said Monday that he represented himself in free agency, tweets Dave McMenamin of The point guard who simply wanted to return to the Cavaliers signed a two-year deal for nearly $4.295MM after trying and failing to get the team to lift the value of the deal, as McMenamin relays. Williams also said he rooted for the Cavs even when he wasn’t playing for them, as George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal writes.

“I didn’t see me [being] over here because I said they’re pretty good at point guard,” Williams said.  “[Matthew Dellavedova] was coming out of his shell and turning into a player. I didn’t see that then. Obviously once the conversation started with [GM David Griffin], I saw a bigger role for me and listening to him, I thought it was a good place for me to be.”

Williams was coy when asked about his relationship with LeBron James, Thomas notes in the same piece, pointing to tweets Williams made in the past criticizing the four-time MVP. However, James embraced the idea of Williams’ return to the team, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported this summer. See more from Cleveland here:

  • J.R. Smith will make $5MM with the Cavs on his new deal this year after declining a player option worth about $6.4MM, but he expressed no regret over that decision Monday, Haynes notes (Twitter link). “I’m a gambler,” Smith said. “I’ll take a gamble on myself any day.”
  • Michael Dunigan was the last of the Cavaliers camp invitees to be reported, but he was the first to sign, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (All Twitter links). Cleveland ordered its transactions thusly so that it could sign Jared Cunningham, Chris Johnson, Austin Daye, D.J. Stephens, Quinn Cook and Nick Minnerath to Exhibit 9 contracts that cover one season at the minimum salary with no money guaranteed and limited injury protection, Pincus reports. Teams have to have 14 players signed to non-Exhibit 9 contracts before they can sign anyone to an Exhibit 9, and Dunigan was the 14th player, as Pincus reveals. Dunigan is on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the minimum salary with standard injury protection, according to Pincus, so the Cavs would be on the hook for his salary for as long as he’s sidelined if he were to get hurt while playing for them.
  • One of the best ways for David Blatt to show he’s learned after his first year in the NBA will be to cut down the minutes for LeBron to keep him fresh, opines Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • We looked at the latest involving Tristan Thompson right here.
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