Updated: 07/28/2014 5:15 PM
Created: 07/28/2014 5:05 PM KSTP.com
By: Grant Bosiacki
Veteran point guard Mo Williams and the Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement on a 1-year contract. A source tells KSTP Sports the contract is worth $3.75 million.
The signing marks the first signing in a long, rumor-filled offseason surrounding the future of Kevin Love.
Williams, a 11-year veteran, brings experience, shooting and depth to a backcourt that is lacking in all three categories.
Williams has career averages of 13.3 points per game and 4.9 assists per game, while averaging just over 17 points per game from from 2006-08. He also made the 2009 all-star game as an injury replacement.
However, the signing of the point guard came relatively cheap for the Timberwolves because of obvious decline Williams showed this past season as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. Williams only averaged 9.7 points per game, the lowest mark since he averaged 5.0 as a rookie for the Milwaukee Bucks in in 2003-04. His Player Efficiency Rating (a measure of per-minute production, with the league average at 15) of 11.8 was also the lowest since his rookie year. Williams didn't play in the Trail Blazers final three losses to the San Antonio Spurs in the playoffs and only 37.3% from the field in the postseason.
But Williams is a proven jump shooter. His 83 three-point field goals from this past season would have been the third most by any Timberwolves player. Williams will also bring a proven track record off the bench that the roster was lacking last season. Back in 2008-09, playing alongside LeBron James, Williams lead the Cavaliers to a league-leading 66 wins. That experience should pay dividends for a Timberwolves bench that was outscored by an average of 9.1 points per game last year, the third worst in the league.
The signing of Williams further brings up questions about incumbent backup point guard J.J. Barea's future. Barea, who has one year remaining on his contract, is coming off an up and down season where he averaged 8.4 points per game, his lowest since 2009-10. If you're wondering what the Wolves will do with Barea, look no further than last year, when former backup point guard Luke Ridnour, who also only had one year remaining on his contract, was jettisoned in a three-team deal that netted the Timberwolves Kevin Martin.