And he also does it in the most meaningless contests, like last night’s Warriors-Trail Blazers preseason game.
Look past the noise, and it’s pretty simple. Williams is under contract for a guaranteed $2,194,500 this season, and because he’s recovering from surgery, it’d be difficult for Cleveland to suspend him for not reporting. Just what does reporting look like for someone recovering from surgery?
This is obviously a fiasco for the Cavs, who face a steep luxury-tax bill and roster crunch. They don’t want Williams worsening either dilemma.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in impasse with guard Mo Williams and it has left them scouring the league for a trade partner so they don’t have to swallow millions, sources told ESPN.com.
The Cavs, who were caught off guard by the decision, have not had meaningful discussions with Williams on a buyout agreement, sources said.
Needing both a roster spot and a backup point guard, the Cavs are in a squeeze as the regular season opener looms. They are looking to attach guard Jordan McRae to Williams in trades, sources said.
Williams has negative trade value. I doubt McRae carries much trade value, let alone enough to offset the anchor of Williams.
It’s too late for Cleveland to stretch Williams’ salary. He has little incentive to negotiate a buyout. At this point, he’ll probably get all his remaining salary (though a buyout would be guaranteed and avoid the possibility of fines and suspensions reducing his payout).
The Cavaliers would do well to trade Williams to another team to waive him. The Cavs project to save $6,328,892 ($2,194,500 and $4,134,392 in luxury tax) by dumping Williams rather than waiving him themselves. They could even send another team Williams’ full $2,194,500 salary to take him and still come far ahead financially. Essentially, the other team would break even in such a deal. So, why would the other team do it? Cleveland would also have to send more – additional cash, draft picks or a player like McRae.
With multiple teams below the salary floor, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a taker.
But whatever positive assets the Cavaliers trade to dump Williams would be assets they can’t use in a trade for a healthy, productive point guard.
Williams is going to make life more difficult for the Cavs. The only question now is just how much more.
They probably didn’t realize just how much they’d need him.
New York’s rotation point guards are Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings, who both carry unsettling injury histories. Additionally, Rose missed most of the preseason while successfully defending himself in a rape lawsuit.
But because the they have 15 players with guaranteed salaries – Baker isn’t one – the Knicks had to waive Lou Amundson, who just signed a guaranteed deal. New York also waived Randle, J.P. Tokoto, Damien Inglis and Cleanthony Early, none of whom had fully guaranteed salaries.
The bigger mystery than why the Knicks chose Amundson to waive is why they gave him a fully guaranteed contract in the first place.
The Celtics knew they drafted too many players, which is why they convinced No. 16 pick Guerschon Yabusele and No. 23 pick Ante Zizic to remain overseas and No. 58 pick Abdel Nader to sign with the D-League. That will allow Boston to maintain exclusive NBA negotiating rights on all three players.
But that still left three draft picks – No. 3 pick Jaylen Brown, No. 45 pick Demetrius Jackson and No. 51 pick Ben Bentil – joining the Celtics’ roster. There isn’t enough room for all three, and Bentil – the only one without a guaranteed salary – is getting the boot.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
If Bentil clears waivers, Boston can assign his D-League rights to its affiliate. He would remain an NBA free agent. However, another team could claim him first, waive him itself and then assign him to its D-League affiliate. Whichever team waives Bentil last will be on the hook for his $250,000 guarantee. It’s also possible a team claims him and keeps into the regular season.
I’m not high on Bentil, who hogged the ball for a lot of bad shots at Providence. But he has talent, and I’d love him on my D-League team. It’s also not my $250,000 to spend.
Sadly for the Celtics, waiving Bentil was already expected. They still need to shed someone with a guaranteed salary to meet the regular-season roster max, and James Young and R.J. Hunter are the most likely to go.
Of course, Boston doesn’t want to lose one for nothing.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
I believe Hunter is more valuable than a second-rounder in a vacuum, and Young also might be. But there’s limited incentive in preemptively trading for a player who will likely become a free agent otherwise. Sure, you get your pick of the two, and you avoid fighting other teams for him. But you also get him on a rookie-scale contract rather than what could be a cheaper deal.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Celtics trade one before they have to waive one, but they don’t have much leverage.