Reports: Blazers Sign Mo Williams
Adrian Wojnaroski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Trail Blazers have signed veteran guard Mo Williams
to a two-year, $5.6 million contract, with the second year being a player option. Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com
and David Aldridge of NBA.com
have also confirmed the report.
Mo Williams then went on to Tweet his own confirmation.
Williams started all 46 games he played last season for the Utah Jazz
, averaging 12.9 points, 6.2 assists and 2.4 rebounds while shooting 38 percent from three in 30.8 minutes per game. Williams, who can play both guard positions, had played for the Bucks, Cavaliers and Clippers before returning to the Jazz, where he played his rookie year, for the 2012-14 season. He missed 31 games during the middle of the season
after undergoing surgery on his right thumb.
The signing is the most recent by Trail Blazers general manager Neil Olshey, who has made numerous moves this summer to bolster Portland's bench. Williams will join Dorell Wright, Thomas Robinson, Earl Watson and rookies CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe as presumptive bench players added to Portland's roster during the 2013 offseason.
Mike Tokito of The Oregonian is reporting that Williams' relationships with Olshey
, who was the GM of the Clippers during Williams' tenure in L.A., and head coach Terry Stotts, who coached Williams as the head coach of the Bucks from 2005 to 2007, played a role in Williams signing with Portland.
The addition of Williams signals a couple of things. It assures that Terrel Harris, who recently caught a five-game suspension for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy, will be cut before his salary becomes guaranteed at the end of October. It also signals that the team isn't willing to wait for Will Barton, McCollum or Crabbe to prove they're ready for extended minutes in Portland's backcourt. The team has no interest in going into another season with uncertainty at backup point guard, and Williams' signing removes all concern on that front.
But most importantly, it removes all doubt that the Trail Blazers are out to make the playoffs in 2014. Showing LaMarcus Aldridge that the team is taking steps to make considerable improvements is a nice ancillary, too.