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Mar 11, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Mo Williams (25) brings the ball up during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agency: Mo Williams meets with Dallas Mavericks, Agreement uncertain

Mo Williams met with the Dallas Mavericks yesterday, but it is unlikely that a deal is imminent. The Mavericks’ top priority right now is the small forward position, where they can pursue a new player (Trevor Ariza, Luol Deng) or attempt to lock up their own unrestricted free agents (Shawn Marion, Vince Carter). Whichever route they choose, or even if they mix-and-match, their remaining cap space will likely be used in this endeavor, leaving only a minimum salary/two-year deal available for Williams.

I can see a two-year deal in Dallas being more attractive to Williams than a two-year deal in Portland if it comes down to that (since Williams summers in the Dallas area), but I don’t think it will. After reaching an agreement with returning point guard Devin Harris, the Mavericks don’t really need Williams. There isn’t much room in the guard rotation behind Raymond Felton, Harris, and Monta Ellis unless the Mavericks plan on using him as a backup shooting guard as the Clippers did in 2011-2012. This could very well be the case, but there are better uses of his talents and the Mavericks’ money.

My suspicion is that the Mavericks want Williams as a fallback in case they are unsuccessful in their other free agency ventures. If Carter leaves and they cannot convince Deng or Ariza or any other upper-mid level guys to sign in Dallas, then they might be willing to spend a small portion of their savings on the three-year deal Williams is seeking. This could be particularly appetizing if Felton exercises his player option and opts out after the 2014-2015 season.

We likely won’t have a great read on Williams’ intentions until some bigger free agency dominoes fall. However; we do know that he and his agent have been in constant contact with the Trail Blazers as he explores his options. A return to Portland would be mutually beneficial since Williams likes it here and the Trail Blazers need his bench production fairly badly. The Mavericks are the only other NBA team to publicly covet Williams, so pay close attention to what they do in the next few days, as it will directly impact the Trail Blazers chances of re-signing him.

 

 

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Tags: Free Agency Mo Williams Portland Trail Blazers

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