Utah Jazz: Reported trade has Mo Williams back in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY — For a team that only had the No. 47 pick Thursday, the Utah Jazz found themselves front and center in the Draft Day spotlight.
They will have a homecoming for a former player and standout guard named Williams if a widely reported trade in the works pans out.
That's Mo Williams, not Deron Williams.
If a three-way trade sorts itself out — as the Dallas Morning News first reported is going to happen — the Jazz will reacquire Mo Williams from the Clippers in a multi-team trade that also includes the Mavericks sending Lamar Odom to L.A.
The reported trade hinges on whether or not Williams — the Jazz's No. 47 pick in 2003 — decides to take his $8.5 million player option for the 2012-13 season with L.A. before Saturday's deadline.
The Jazz didn't keep Williams past his rookie season after drafting him nine years ago, but they have spoken highly of the 29-year-old since then.
Asked about the trade for Williams, O'Connor declined to comment.
But bringing Williams back would, in a way, help Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor rectify one of his biggest regrets. He admitted to kicking himself for years over not working out a deal to match Milwaukee's offer sheet for Williams eight years ago.
"I've always said he's my worst mistake," O'Connor said. "I've made a few, but I always say he's my worst mistake, but I can't comment outside of that."
The teams reportedly agreed to terms of the deal Thursday and everybody is now waiting for Williams' decision. If he doesn't pick up his option, he'd become an unrestricted free agent and the deal would be off.
However, a source told the Dallas Morning News that he might not get half of his salary on the market.
The Associated Press reported that Williams is expected to exercise his player option Friday.
"Mo and I are looking at a lot of different things right now," Williams' agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN The Magazine on Thursday. "He'll make his decision in the next day or two."
In order to make the trade work, the Jazz would use their $10.8 million trade exception they received after shipping Mehmet Okur to the New Jersey Nets last December.
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, according to ESPN.
ESPN sources also claimed 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.
The 6-1 Williams averaged 5.0 points on 38 percent shooting, 1.3 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 57 games during his short Utah stay.
From there, he played four seasons with Milwaukee, two-and-a-half seasons with Cleveland and has been with the Clippers for the past 11/2 years.
Williams, taken with the No. 47 pick, has career averages of 13.8 points, 4.9 assists and 3.0 rebounds. He would give the Jazz a third point guard — along with Harris and Earl Watson (Utah has a team option on Jamaal Tinsley). He'd also give Utah another outside threat as he's hit 38.7 percent of his 3-pointers during his nine-year career.
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