This season, Mo Williams has largely played better than anyone could have expected; which is exactly why the Wolves must trade him as soon as possible.
The 11-year veteran has missed several games due to various injuries, but when he has played, he’s been effective. In 33 games, Williams has recorded six double-doubles and one record setting 52-point performance (as seen in the video below).
Yes, you read that right. The 32-year-old guard with a career average of only 13.3 points per game, currently holds the Timberwolves franchise record for the most points in a single game. How many times do you think he’ll score 50 points in a game again? Probably never.
However, this 52-point performance isn’t as random as you may think. Throughout this season, Williams has proven to be one of the Wolves’ biggest offensive threats. In the ten games since New Years Day, he’s recorded four 20-plus-point performances. In January, Williams is averaging 18.4 points and 6.3 assists per contest.
While his stock is high, the Wolves must act quickly and trade Williams to a title contender. Several playoff-caliber teams are in desperate need of a point guard. If there’s anything basketball has taught us, it’s that desperate teams will make regrettable trades.
The Miami Heat are the first team that comes to mind. Without LeBron James in South Beach, the Heat have been forced to depend on the likes of Mario Chalmers and Noris Cole to run the point. They also lack offensive weapons, which is why they currently rank third-to-last in points per game among all teams in the Eastern Conference. Williams isn’t a prolific scorer, especially at this point in his career, but he is been capable of big nights (obviously).
Heat team president Pat Riley knows what his team needs:
According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York, the Heat were in talks to acquire Brook Lopez from the Brooklyn Nets, which means they are clearly looking to trade for offensive talent to aid in their playoff hunt.
With the NBA trade deadline approaching (Feb. 19), the Wolves need to start shopping immediately. Many fans have been clamoring for the team to trade Nikola Pekovic or Kevin Martin, but in reality, Williams may be their best option.
Unlike Martin or Pekovic, Williams is on a team-friendly contract (one-year deal worth $3.75M per Sportrac.com), and he’s managed to avoid any long-term injuries. The Wolves’ best bet would be at-least a second-round pick in exchange for the aging guard.
With Ricky Rubio set to return sometime soon, the Wolves will have no use for Williams anyway. Rookie Zach LaVine is the biggest reason why they must trade Williams ASAP. Three point guards on this roster would make it impossible for LaVine to see the court. The two veteran point guards would get the lion’s share of the playing time, while LaVine watches from the bench.
After spending a lottery pick on LaVine, the Wolves must give him the proper chance to grow. Williams’ presence would conflict with the team’s long-term plan. If they trade Williams, Rubio can slowly return to the starting role, and rookie Zach LaVine can continue to gain experience as a backup.
The Wolves have time, but they must trade Williams before he becomes the victim of a slump, or god forbid, an injury.
All stats are courtesy of ESPN unless otherwise noted
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