Things get heated over Mo Williams
Portland Trail Blazers guard Mo Williams tells CSNNW.com he will opt out of his deal with the team at the conclusion of the season and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Williams, 31, signed a two-year, $5.6 million deal with Portland last offseason and it contains a player option for the 2014-15 season that would have paid him $2.7 million.
The veteran guard, who head coach Terry Stotts considers the best backup point guard in the league, says this decision was always the plan and adds that his main objective is to secure a lengthened contract with the Trail Blazers.
“I would like to be here long-term,” Williams revealed to CSNNW.com. “My goal is to work something out with Portland this summer. I like it here and I want to make this place home.”
Williams said team chemistry, camaraderie and fan support are why he and his family are drawn to the city.
The 6-1 guard has been a key member of some pretty good teams, noticeably his time as LeBron James’ sidekick in Cleveland, but he says there’s something extraordinary about this group of guys and he compares it to a southern dish.
“With our team, we have a makeup of individuals that do something really, really good and when we mesh together, it’s like gumbo,” he explained. “That’s the best example I can give you of our team. Some teams have a dish where you got your steak, potatoes and asparagus. We’re gumbo. Without one of the ingredients, the gumbo just doesn’t taste well. But when everything is in that pot, it’s just like grandma did it.”
Going into Wednesday night’s game against the Orlando Magic, in 34 appearances this season, Williams was averaging 9.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 36 percent from three-point range. When he enters the game, everything speeds up, forcing teams to adjust to his tempo.
He’s always in attack mode with his foot heavy on the gas pedal and he’s one of the main reasons why Portland is off to such a tremendous start.
“Mo has been great,” Stotts said. “He came in and understood his role. I think he has flourished in his role. I’ve said may times that I think he’s the best backup in the league, which is what we needed. He’s been able to help Damian on and off the court. We wouldn’t be where we are today without Mo.”
Whatever happens in the offseason with his contract situation will eventually play itself out. In the meantime, Williams says he just wants to cherish this ride he’s on and hopefully, it’s a ride he won’t have to exit anytime soon.
“This is a special team, man. This is special,” he said. “Being able to keep this team together and for me being a part of it would be huge. You have to cherish these special moments. They don’t come often. It’s a great situation for me. The city is great. My family and kids love the city.
“For me, it’s about finishing my career the right way for the X amount of years that I have and I’d love to do it here because of the fan support, the familiarity with the coach and [General Manager] Neil [Olshey]. I love my teammates. I love the style of play we play so everything is a positive and a plus. My goal is to be here long-term.”