Blazers sign veteran guard Mo Williams
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Portland Trail Blazers have signed veteran free agent guard Mo Williams.
Williams has played 10 seasons in the NBA with stops in Milwaukee, Cleveland, the Clippers and Utah, averaging 13.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5 assists. Last season with the Jazz, the 6-foot-1 Williams averaged 12.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 6.2 assists but he was hampered by surgery on his right thumb that sidelined him for two months.
He will wear No. 7, Brandon Roy's former number, for the Blazers.
"As a player, Mo is an explosive scorer and willing facilitator,'' Blazers general manager Neil Olshey said in a statement. "As a person, his character and professionalism will set an outstanding example for our young players on the court, in the locker room and in the Portland community.''
The Blazers scheduled a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce the signing.
The Jazz, 22-24 with Williams in the lineup, finished 43-39 and just out of the final Western Conference playoff spot. Many of the players on that team were free agents, including Al Jefferson, who was signed to a three-year, $40.5 million deal by the Charlotte Bobcats, and Paul Millsap, who signed a two-year, $19 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks.
Terms of Williams' deal with the Trail Blazers was not released.
Williams, who will be 31 in December, expressed a desire to return to the Jazz at season's end.
"I was drafted here,'' Williams, a second-round pick by Utah in 2003 acquired in a trade last summer, said then. "This organization gave me a shot when I first came in the league, when I was a young pup. Now I'm at a point in my career where stability is key. ... It will be disappointing (if I'm not back), but I'm going into my 11th year and I understand the business side of it. I understand the youth movement.''
Williams, an All-Star in 2009, was taken by Utah with the 47th overall pick in the 2003 draft out of Alabama.