INDEPENDENCE: Mo Williams will not play for the Cavaliers this season and has essentially retired. Williams’ agent, Raymond Brothers, called Cavs General Manager David Griffin before the team held its Media Day on Monday to inform him of the decision.
Williams has considered retirement as far back as January, but insisted to the Beacon Journal last winter he was opting out of his contract at the end of last season and becoming a free agent again to take advantage of the salary cap spike. Then he picked up his player option and wrote on Twitter last week he was coming back for one more year.
Apparently, however, he changed his mind yet again. He did not join the Cavs for their workouts last week in California, and he did not attend Monday’s event.
“It was in debate what Mo was going to choose to do,” Griffin said. “He vacillated a little bit, so we were planning on this eventuality throughout. We feel very comfortable about where we are at the point guard position.”
Williams’ departure creates an opportunity. Rookie Kay Felder is the only other true point guard expected to make the final roster, although LeBron James is essentially the backup point guard as the roster is constructed. The Cavs believe Felder and/or Jordan McRae can play a few minutes at point guard.
“We’re really excited about finding out what some of the young players on our roster can do,” Griffin said. “This is a training camp that for the first time I’ve been here will be incredibly competitive relative to roster spots.”
The only remaining matter is Williams’ contract. The team is not expected to engage him in buyout talks, meaning once he files retirement paperwork with the league, he will forfeit the $2.2 million owed to him this year, and his contract will come off the Cavs’ books.
Kevin Love insisted he hasn’t spent a lot of time watching his key defensive stop on Steph Curry at the end of Game 7. He has spent more time watching LeBron James’ crucial block and Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer to win the championship.
“Did a lot of reading in the offseason and I came across a line that said, ‘It’s not always the biggest part, sometimes it’s the most memorable.’ For me to have an impact and try to stop one of the best players in the world and two-time reigning MVP, it was a moment I knew that it could all come crashing down if I didn’t get the stop,” Love said. “But if I did, I could make an impact on the game.
“I was balanced enough to keep my feet down. He threw everything at me. I kept my feet down and made a big play.”
Irving celebrated his championship by adding a gold medal during the Summer Games when he was coached by Mike Krzyzewski, who also coached him at Duke. Irving left Duke after one injury-plagued season.
“We always talk about it, but he feels I’m the one who got away from him,” Irving said. “We didn’t get a chance to necessarily explore the world like we wanted to basketball-wise. That was our validation.”
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ.