With the NBA Draft set to kick off in a matter of hours, rumors continue to circulate regarding potential trades heading into the 2010-11 season. The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to be one of the more-discussed teams for a variety of reasons, one of which is the report that the team could be shopping key members of its backcourt.
Point guard Mo Williams, one of the rumored available players, recently leveraged his Twitter account to let Cavs fans know that he would prefer to stay in Cleveland.
“[Please] don’t trade me, I’m not ready to go,” said Williams. “I’m begging. My work ain’t done yet. I’m on both knees…[Please]. I’m serious.”
Having a player claim that he wants to be in Cleveland is rare enough. One that has put up solid regular season numbers is even fewer and further between – Williams has averaged 17.8 and 15.8 points, respectively, through his two seasons as a member of the Cavaliers. Supplying the team with a long-range threat, a handful of assists and veteran leadership, Williams even made his first All-Star appearance following his trade from Milwaukee two offseasons ago.
But where the player has fell short has been after the regular season has come to an end. With the Cavaliers in a championship-or-bust playoff run, Williams provided four or fewer field goals in four of the six games against the Boston Celtics – this included a 1-for-9, four-point night through 34 minutes of play in Game Two. And while his offense was inconsistent, Williams was consistently a liability on the defensive end, forcing the coaching staff to rotate various defenders to both Chicago’s Derrick Rose and Boston’s Rajon Rondo.
Despite Williams’ knack for big games on the offensive end and all-around positive demeanor, speculation continues to remain that the Cavaliers would like to improve at the point guard spot both offensively and defensively. In the prior two seasons, the offense has mainly run through LeBron James; something that could change if James would opt to sign with another team this offseason. While this could open up more opportunities for Williams (who thrived as a main option in Milwaukee), it could also further exploit his weaknesses if the player is forced to take on a larger role.
“I have my heart in the city and the organization and I don’t want to leave,” Williams recently told The Plain Dealer’s Brian Windhorst. “You can look at it from both sides. Other teams want you, so that is good, but I love Cleveland.”
Williams is due $9.3 million next season with compensation of $8.5 million each of the subsequent two seasons – the second of which is a player option.