According to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, free agent guard Mo Williams is willing to come back to Cleveland, where he made his only All-Star appearance in 2009:
Soon-to-be unrestricted free agent point guard Mo Williams is “more than interested” in making a return to Cleveland, sources close to the guard informed Northeast Ohio Media Group.
However, due to their own pending powerhouse free agents, the Cavaliers will be limited in what they can offer. All they will have at their disposal is the taxpayer mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum. Williams is seeking a multiyear deal, and the Cavaliers and Hornets are two of the teams at the top of his wish list, a source revealed.
Williams played from 2008-2010 in Cleveland after he was acquired in a three-team trade from the Milwaukee Bucks. In his first season with the team, Williams was a major reason why the franchise finished the season with a league best 66 wins and earned a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Williams started the 2014-2015 season playing in Minnesota as a reserve, averaging 12.2 points in 41 appearances with the club. However, the point guard would later be traded to the Charlotte Hornets, as the team was making a playoff push and looking for back court depth, after an injury kept guard Kemba Walker out.
Williams increased his scoring average with the Hornets, posting 17.2 points per contest in 27 games, finishing the year with 14.2 points and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 39.7 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from three.
If Cleveland and Williams are able to come to an agreement, the move bolsters the club’s back court depth especially at the point guard position. Guard Kyrie Irving is expected to miss 3-4 months after having surgery to fix a broken kneecap and Matthew Dellavedova is coming off a Finals performance where he was limited offensively. The move would also reunite forward LeBron James with Williams. Haynes reported James would have no problem with a Williams-reunion:
Williams and James have a great relationship, I’m told. If a deal could be worked out, I’m told the four-time MVP would welcome him with open arms.
News on the Memphis Grizzlies: Jeff Green exercises option, Marc Gasol expected to stay with team
Memphis Grizzlies forward Jeff Green has decided to use his player option to remain with the team and will forgo free agency this summer, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
Green could’ve entered the market this summer to sign a long-term extension in Memphis or elsewhere, but his uneven play after a January trade from Boston would’ve made rejecting his player option a significant financial risk.
Green will make $9.2 million for the 2015-2016 season after exercising his player option. Green, who was acquired via trade from the Boston Celtics in a three-team trade, averaged 13.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 45 appearances with the franchise last season. He was a key addition to the team and was one of the reasons Memphis made it to the Western Conference Semifinals before losing to eventual champions–the Golden State Warriors.
According to Wojnarowski, the Grizzlies will now focus their attention on trying to keep All-Star center Marc Gasol, who expected to stay put in Memphis:
The Grizzlies will have a full training camp to incorporate Green into their system, with the franchise’s full attention turning to the re-signing of first-team All-NBA center Marc Gasol in July free agency. Gasol is expected to stay with the Grizzlies, but no final decision has been made, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Gasol was named to the NBA All-First Team this season and made his first All-Star start, while averaging 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.6 blocks per game. In 2013, Gasol was named the Defensive Player of the Year and is the anchor to Memphis’ ‘grit and grind’ defense.
Other News From Around the League:
- Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson is expected to miss four months after undergoing surgery Tuesday on his left ankle, the Bulls released Friday in a press release: “The surgery was performed by foot specialist Dr. David Porter in Indianapolis. Gibson’s surgery went as expected and he has begun the rehabilitation process. His estimated time to return to full basketball activity is approximately four months. The 29-year old Gibson recently completed his sixth season in the NBA, where he appeared in 62 games (17 starts) and posted 10.3 ppg on .502 shooting, 6.4 rpg, 1.21 bpg and 1.1 apg in 27.3 mpg. He also played in all 12 of Chicago’s playoff games (two starts) and averaged 7.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg and 1.00 bpg in 23.0 mpg.”
- Former Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt is close to inking a deal on becoming the new lead assistant in Dallas, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Hunt was the interim head coach for Denver after the team let go of Brian Shaw in March. The Nuggets recently hired ex-Sacramento Kings coach Mike Malone to take over the team after players like Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried lobbied for Hunt to remain:
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confirms earlier ESPN report that former Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt is joining Dallas staff as lead assistant
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 19, 2015
Carlisle says Hunt will replace Monte Mathis, who has been offered job as head coach of Mavs’ D-League team if he does not get job elsewhere
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 19, 2015
- Former Hawks general manager Danny Ferry’s contract buyout was approved Friday by the team’s board of managers, reported by Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Coach Mike Budenholzer, who was in charge of basketball operations while Ferry was out, will reportedly be named team president, while Wes Wilcox will be named general manager when the Ressler-led group assumes control: “The buyout of Ferry’s contract will be the responsibility of the old ownership group. Ferry had two years remaining on the six-year, $18 million contract he signed in 2012. Ferry will receive substantially more than was due in the final two years of the deal.”
- The NBA is discouraging teams from discussing restricted free agents and matching any offers presented to them, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports: “ESPN.com has learned that the NBA, as far back as November, issued a memo to all teams warning them that the National Basketball Players Association has officially taken the position that the well-worn “we’ll match any offer” reflex strategy and its corresponding intent to discourage interest in a particular RFA is a circumvention of the salary cap. The league’s memo, sources said, took the rare step of further cautioning teams that, while the NBA itself doesn’t concur with the NBPA’s view, league officials see enough potential merit in the union’s stance to advise those who persist with match-any-offer chatter that they could be opening themselves up to legal action.”
Real Madrid’s point guard Sergio Rodriguez is planning on returning to the NBA this summer, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports: “Considered the top point guard in Europe, has plans to negotiate a return to the NBA in summer free agency, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Front-office executives regard Rodriguez as an elite backup point guard in the NBA, a playmaker at 6-foot-3 who could successfully run a good team for significant stretches of time. There is a buyout provision in Rodriguez’s Real Madrid contract, but sources familiar with the agreement say it will not be an obstacle to him signing an NBA deal this summer.” Rodriguez was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the first-round of the 2006 draft and played four seasons in the NBA before going back to Real Madrid in 2010
- Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard Steve Blake has exercised his option to remain with the team for a sixth season, announced Friday by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey: ” Blake (6-3, 172) appeared in 81 games for the Trail Blazers last season. In 350 games (232 starts) over five seasons with Portland, Blake holds averages of 7.8 points (41.4% FG, 39.8% 3-PT, 78.2% FT), 2.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists. For his career, Blake has averages of 6.7 points (40.1% FG, 38.5% 3-PT, 77.8% FT), 2.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists over 12 seasons with Washington, Portland, Milwaukee, Denver, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers and Golden State.”
- The Golden State Warriors had their championship parade Friday and it seemed like forward Draymond Green was having a lot of fun:
Odus Evbagharu is a blogger with Sheridan Hoops and you can follow him on Twitter: @iamodus_