Mo Williams brought credibility to the Trail Blazers’ bench last season, a historically horrible outfit the year before.
More importantly, Williams bonded with franchise player Damian Lillard. It reached the point Lillard listed Williams first among his desired free agent targets.
It really seemed Portland would re-sign Williams this summer.
Instead, the Trail Blazers used the mid-level exception – their primary means for paying Williams – on Chris Kaman and added Steve Blake to fill Williams’ role in the rotation. Then, Williams signed with the Timberwolves
From the outside, it was a chicken-or-egg scenario. Did the Trail Blazers sign Kaman and Blake because they saw that pairing as an upgrade over Williams? Or did they sign those two because they knew they were going to lose Williams anyway?
Williams shares his version of events:
Lillard didn’t seem fond of how it went down:
I’m sure Lillard wishes Williams, his friend, were still part of the team. But if Kaman and Blake help the Trail Blazers win, Lillard will get over it. He can see Williams a few times per season and in the summer.
That’s how the business works.
But if Williams thrives in Minnesota while Kaman and Blake flop, the Trail Blazers might have aggravated their biggest star the summer before he’s eligible to sign an extension. Throw him a max offer, and he’d get over it. But if you try to haggle, little incidents like this could come up.
That’s also how the business works.
Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.
For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.