I was cruising WFNY today and the place has caught fire with excited Cavs fans talking about this three-team deal that brings Milwaukee Bucks PG Mo Williams to the Cavaliers. I am a bit more cautiously optimistic than flat out excited by this news.
On the surface, it looks like a great fit, because Williams is known as a point guard who can make his own scoring opportunities. All Cavs fans know that the team needs more offensive options than what LeBron and Zydrunas Ilgauskas provide. So, with that, it should be a promising outlook as of today. Except, I want to be more cautious.
In 2005, the Cavs needed a player to play opposite LeBron James, so instead of trading, they went out and found a player with a Hollinger PER rating of 21.63. This is a statistical combination used to measure a player’s production per minute of floor time. This player had 22 points per game and almost 5 assists per game to go along with just over 6 rebounds per game. And his name was Larry Hughes.
Just to put it all in perspective, Mo Williams’ PER is 17.06 currently.
Now, I am sorry if it seems like I am trying to be a downer. I am not. I hope Mo Williams turns out to be exactly what the Cavs need in terms of getting to the next level. I think combined with Delonte West (should he return,) Wally Szczerbiak (should he not be traded,) and Daniel Gibson, the Cavs have a pretty good rotation of players ready to play in the back court in the upcoming season.
The plusses are that Williams is still a younger player at 25 years old. He just finished the first year of a 6-year $51.5 million deal that is a relative bargain compared to the amount of money that the Cavs paid Larry Hughes. Also, the Cavs unloaded dead weight in Damon Jones, and an aging veteran in Joe Smith, so they didn’t really lose a ton to pick up Williams.
So, anyway, I am excited at the prospect. I think it is a good calculated risk on Danny Ferry’s part. Then again, I thought Larry Hughes was a good calculated risk when the Cavs signed him in 2005. Let’s just hope it works and that the Cavs won’t sit idly by with Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring contract for too long. It is the largest expiring-contract bargaining chip in Danny Ferry’s arsenal, and I hope he uses it wisely.
Update: The Cavs have emailed their fanbase about the trade.
“Acquiring Mo strengthens our nucleus of players for both the short and long term. He is entering his prime NBA years and will be part of the foundation of our future success,” Ferry said. “Mo is a player that excels as a traditional point guard, but also brings an extra dimension with his scoring and versatility. His ability to push the tempo, get inside the lane, shoot from the perimeter and distribute the ball will be very valuable for us.”