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Report: Mo Williams won’t re-sign with Jazz unless he remains a starter

Jun 29, 2013, 9:30 PM EDT

Mo Williams AP

Mo Williams is an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he apparently won’t re-sign with the Jazz as a backup point guard — he wants to be the starter.

That’s the word out of Williams’ camp, anyway, and if true, he may want to start engaging in some contract negotiations with other teams.

From Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports:

Mo Williams will re-sign as a free agent with the Utah Jazz only if he remains the starting point guard next season, a source told Yahoo! Sports on Friday.

The demand comes a day after the Jazz traded up in the draft to get University of Michigan star Trey Burke, who was selected ninth on Thursday night.

“He’s not going to come back as a backup,” the source said of Williams.

As for Burke, he told reporters Thursday, “My goal is to come in and start right away. I look forward to coming in and helping the team win.”

Williams, a 10-year NBA veteran and one-time All-Star, is a serviceable option at his position, and averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 assists in 30.8 minutes per game last season. But his durability has been lacking in recent years.

After playing 81 games for the Cavaliers in 2009, Williams has appeared in just 69, 58, 52, and 46 games respectively in each of the following seasons.

The Jazz want an upgrade at the position, as well as someone who can stay healthy while giving them that increased level of production. Drafting Burke was a step in that direction, and though he may not be ready to start immediately, he could get that chance if Williams doesn’t return and the Jazz don’t fill that hole by adding another veteran to the roster.

The agent for Williams later refuted the Yahoo! report, but only truly took exception to the word “demand.” As Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune said in the piece, the dispute may be semantic.

  1. JMClarkent - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Mo doesn’t fit their future plans, regardless. I’d rather they keep Tinsley to mentor the kid and let Mo walk.

  2. cluelessdufus - Jun 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    Mo is getting up in age and isn’t better than Burke, unless he takes a role player role he should pack up

  3. wethree32012 - Jun 29, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    I thought it was the coach who decided the starting lineup. Silly me.

  4. badintent - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    Yo MO ! How your like your Chinese food ? Spicy or not ? Cause that’s where you’re heading. China . The flash going by you was Starbury.And bring your hommie T-Mac.

  5. bougin89 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Translation: I’ll take the best money offer I can get, starter or not.

  6. cflip376 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    China or Euroleague?

  7. senorpapino - Jun 30, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    This guy would be a nice pickup at the MLE for a playoff team. Averaged 12/6 and could play both off the ball and backup point.

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