When the Cleveland Cavaliers signed guard Mo Williams to a two-year, $4.3 million contract (the second year being a player option) last off-season, the 33-year-old was expected to be a key part of the wine and gold's bench group as a role player. But, after dealing with a nagging knee injury throughout the season, Williams had an underwhelming campaign after what was a very hot start. Nevertheless, the guard has accepted his second-year player option worth an estimated $2.2 million and will remain with the Cavaliers next season, according to Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes.
Although Cleveland is getting ready for Game 6 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, it is safe to say that Williams has underachieved compared to what the Cavs expected in his second stint with the team. In his 13th season in the league, the 6-foot-1, 198-pound guard averaged 15.6 points and 5.0 assists per game through the month of November, but fell of to just 8.2 points, 2.4 assists, and 1.8 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per game during his 41 regular season appearances (14 starts)—arguably his worst season in the NBA since his rookie campaign in 2003-04. Williams shot 43.7 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season. During the playoffs so far, Williams has averaged just 1.3 points, 0.5 rebounds, and 0.3 assists in 5.3 minutes per game while shooting 21.7 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point land in 11 appearances.
Nagging injuries to his hand and knee have played a big role in why Williams has struggled this season. While this season will be over in less than a week, if the guard can get his knee back to normal and be 100 percent healthy heading into the 2016-17 season, he could be a key role player for the Cavs next season while coming off the bench. As seen in the Finals against the Golden State Warriors, bench play is a key part of determining who wins each game in the best-of-seven series, so a healthy Williams could be very important heading into next year. With guard Matthew Dellavedova set to become a free agent this upcoming off-season, Williams' health (and play) could lead him to become the backup point guard heading into the 2016-17 season if Delly decides to sign elsewhere. Don't forget, in a game during the 2014-15 season, the guard scored 52 points in a single game and averaged 14.2 points and 6.2 assists per game while with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Hornets.