The Cleveland Cavaliers received the shocking news that playmaker Mo Williams has decided to retire before the start of this year’s season. Rumors are swirling that with Williams opting to retire the Cavaliers are showing interest in Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers and Kirk Hinrich for replacement.
According to Cleveland.com, Williams announced on Twitter that he was coming back for one more season with the Cavaliers. But on the eve of the team’s training camp had a change of heart and decided to go on with his retirement. Williams, 33, has been teasing about his retirement last season after the team captured its first championship title.
Cavaliers’ general manager David Griffin stated that Williams’ agent, Raymond Brothers, informed the team of Williams’ latest decision. The Cavaliers still owe Williams $2.2 million this season and Griffin noted that a settlement that would compensate Williams for his services to the team.
Williams was the 47th overall pick by the Utah Jazz in the 2003 NBA Draft. Aside from the Jazz, Williams also had a tour of duty with the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets.
With Williams retiring, the Cavaliers fell short in the point guard department. To fill in the void, the team has sent out a word to Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, and Kirk Hinrich. Both Cole and Chalmers have played with LeBron James during their Miami Heat days. The two are strong candidates as they will have less adjustment with the style of play that James brings every night.
But Cleveland.com noted that the Cavaliers are trying to explore more if rookie Kay Felder will able to fill in as Kyrie Irving’s wing man. The team is also exploring James in spreading out the offense on the floor as he has done before. The Cavaliers are in no rush in signing one of the three prospects, although they have been in close contact with them.
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However, the Cavaliers are way over the $94 million salary cap and could not sign any free agent. If they bring in a player they will have to sign him for a veteran’s minimum. But Griffin noted that the team is doing great and has other assets to work with to fill the void Williams left.
“We feel very comfortable with where we are at the point guard position, the versatility that we have to absorb that,” Griffin. “We have other people who can guard the position. This is a training camp that for the first time since I’ve been here I think will be incredibly competitive. We’re really excited about the guys that we have in camp who can earn the job.”
Aside from Felder, the Cavaliers are looking at Jordan McRae and Markel Brown to fit in the team’s system. Griffin explained that coach Tyronn Lue will have to make assessments before calling which prospect will they sign in for the next season.
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