Amico: A conversation on Mo's Cavs return
Is Mo Williams the answer at backup point guard for the Cavaliers?
I asked myself that very question after Williams announced his return on Twitter. And my answer was yes … and no … and yes again.
The conversation with myself went something like this:
Question: So, Mo is back, huh?
Answer: Sounds like it.
Q: Is that a good thing?
A: I think so. The Cavs need some help behind Kyrie Irving, particularly now that Matthew Dellavedova is wearing that ugly Milwaukee green.
Q: You don't like the Bucks?
A: I didn't say that. Can we please stick to the topic?
Q: Fine. So is that Williams' only value? He's just the best the Cavs could do?
A: Well, that's partially true. But the Cavs' only real option heading into training camp was they either had Williams ... or nobody. His contract is relatively cheap for a backup point guard, about $2.2 million this season. And even if the Cavs did find a replacement, they weren't likely to find an experienced one at that price.
Q: Experience is one thing, but wasn't he hurt most of the year?
A: Yes, bum knee. But he played well before the injury. Williams even started eight games while the Cavs waited for Irving to return in December. And let's not forget, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue clearly trusted Williams more than Dellavedova late in the playoffs.
Q: How old is Williams again?
Q: Remember what long-ago Cavs general manager Wayne Embry said about smaller 30-and-over guards?
A: Refresh my memory.
Q: He said little guards quickly lose their legs once they hit the wrong side of 30.
A: He said that?
A: OK, well, maybe it's true. But Williams did score 52 points in a game, and that was just more than a year ago (with the Timberwolves). I'm not saying he's capable of that now, but his career sure doesn't look finished to me.
Q: What about rookie point guard Kay Felder?
A: The Cavs have high hopes for him. He reminds me of Nate Robinson and Boston guard Isaiah Thomas -- fellow little men who were doubted entering the NBA, but exploded once there.
Q: You like Williams better than Felder?
A: Yes, I do for right now. Like most rookies, especially those out of the little Horizon League, Felder will need time to adapt to the pros. Plus, the Cavs want to win another championship. Williams' know-how will be much more valuable.
Q: What about Cleveland State product Norris Cole? He's still out there, an unrestricted free agent.
A: I know. And Cole is probably better than Williams, because Cole really defends. Let's face it, that's not exactly Mo's specialty. But signing Cole would've been nearly impossible. He is looking for much more than a minimum contract.
Q: Anything else?
A: Yes, Cole just parted ways with agent Rich Paul, and Paul just happens to be the same guy who represents LeBron James.
Q: No way Cole will be in Cleveland after that, huh?
Q: Back to Williams. What does he offer the Cavs besides experience?
A: Sometimes experience and hunger are all you need with a team that features the likes of James, Irving, Kevin Love and more. Williams is also an outstanding ball-handler and shooter. He can still create his own points.
Q: Final word on Williams?
A: His decision not to retire and come back is better than the alternative, if he stays healthy. Players sometimes come to life when the plan is to play one final season and go out on top. Williams' return is a good thing for those reasons and more.
Q: Did I ask you about J.R. Smith yet?
A: Let's talk again next week.