Utah Jazz: Mo Williams mentioned in possible trade to Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY — They only have the No. 47 pick tonight, but the Utah Jazz find themselves front and center in Draft Day rumors.
They might have a homecoming for a former player and standout guard named Williams — Mo, not Deron — if an ESPN.com report pans out.
The Jazz would reacquire Mo Williams from the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-way trade that also includes the Dallas Mavericks and Lamar Odom, sources told ESPN.com this afternoon.
The trade hinges on whether Williams — the Jazz's No. 47 pick in 2003 — takes his $8.5 million player option for the 2012-13 season with L.A. before Saturday's deadline.
The Jazz have spoken highly of the 29-year-old Williams ever since they didn't keep him for more than one season after drafting him nine years ago.
"Mo and I are looking at a lot of different things right now," Williams' agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN The Magazine. "He'll make his decision in the next day or two."
In order to make the trade work, the Jazz would use their trade exception they received after shipping Mehmet Okur to the New Jersey Nets last December. According to ESPN, the deal essentially needs to be finalized by Friday because the Mavericks would either need to pay Odom $2.4 million or buy him out of his $8.2 million contract.
Sources also claimed that the Mavericks were considering trading for Jazz point guard Devin Harris, who began his NBA career in Dallas. But the Mavs reportedly don't want to pick up any additional salary with a deal.
On Wednesday, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said the team is open to wheeling and dealing as long as it makes sense for the franchise.
"Our attitude," he said, "is to continue to explore all opportunities to improve the team, but not to make decisions based on short-term gains. ... I think we like who we have. That doesn't mean we won't try to improve our team."
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reported that Williams is "open to idea of going to Utah," but his source said the guard is exploring all options.
The draft begins tonight at 5:30 p.m. MT on ESPN. The Jazz are hosting a free draft party beginning at 5 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena.
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