Veteran Williams will join Wolves

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 28, 2014 - 10:04 PM

The 31-year-old, who can play both backcourt spots, received a 1-year, $3.75 million contract.

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Portland guard Mo Williams, left, passed around Milwaukee's John Henson during a March game. The Timberwolves agreed to terms with Williams on Monday.

Photo: STEVE DYKES, Associated Press

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The Timberwolves agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.75 million contract with veteran guard Mo Williams.

The move was announced Monday afternoon by Williams representative, Priority Sports. The Wolves could announce the signing as early as Tuesday.

In Williams the Wolves are getting a 31-year-old veteran who can play both point guard and shooting guard. Indeed, Williams is best described as point guard-sized but with a shooter’s mentality. He could back up starting point guard Ricky Rubio on a second unit that could include rookie Zach LaVine with him in the backcourt.

A career 13.3-point per game scorer, Williams’s best season came with Cleveland in 2008-09, when he averaged 17.8 points and played in the All Star Game. Williams is coming off an up-and-down season in Portland in which he averaged 9.7 points, his lowest since his rookie season in 2003-04.

Still, Williams is a career 43.8-percent shooter — 38.5 percent on three-pointers — and has averaged 13.3 points and nearly five assists per game over his career.

The team used a portion of the $5.305-million mid-level exception in the signing, which leaves them a little more than $1.55 million to use on another move. Williams had been courted by Dallas during free agency, but the Mavericks were only able to offer him $2.7 million.

His addition means the Wolves have 15 guaranteed contracts, and that suggests more moves are in the offing in addition to the much-discussed Kevin Love situation, as Wolves president of basketball operations and head coach Flip Saunders prepares for the upcoming season.

Williams’ addition brings into question the future of guard J.J. Barea, who is entering the final year of his contract with the Wolves and is due to make just over $4.5 million in the upcoming season. Barea could be on the trading block. One possibility is if Saunders can find a third team to get involved in a potential trade involving Love.

If Love leaves, Saunders would be looking to add a veteran power forward.

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