Since entering the league in 2003, NBA journeyman and score-first point guard Mo Williams has been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He has been to the playoffs four times in his first 11 seasons, spending the majority of those 11 seasons on small-market teams. Williams has been a member of four different teams during his career, and he never really emerged as the top star for any of them. Now, Williams has reached a turning point in his NBA experience: free agency.
As a free agent, the Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat have emerged as the most appealing, aggressive suitors. While both teams are clearly capable of reaching the NBA Finals and could lead Williams to a great deal of success, he would be the odd man out on either of them.
All Williams could accomplish in South Beach is acting as a mentor to young point guard Mario Chalmers, all while chipping in a few buckets here and there. While many point to Williams’ success with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers back in 2008, we must remember James only played with Williams the way he did because he was the next-best player on the roster. In Miami, this clearly isn’t the case, and the amount of time James and Williams would be on the floor at the same time is almost zero.
The Grizzlies would be even worse. While Williams could potentially serve as a standard sixth man behind Mike Conley Jr. in Memphis, in all likelihood, he would have a pretty unimportant role in the team.
Enter the Boston Celtics. Let’s be honest, the Celtics need a lot of things. However, two of the most glaring weaknesses on the team are depth and scoring. While a Nate Robinson or a Jarret Jack would have been an ideal fit for the situation, Williams wouldn’t be a bad deal for the Celtics either.
Coming off the bench for the newly recovered Rajon Rondo, Williams could provide a serious energy spark and pick up the scoring load when the situation demanded it. Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee will spend most of their time at the two-spot, which leaves newcomer Phil Pressey as the only viable backup for Rondo. While Pressey shows a lot of promise for such a young player, the talent gap is too great between him and Rondo. If it comes to choosing between an unheard-of, turnover-prone rookie or a 30-year-old former All-Star, the choice is clear.
Williams would also add a solid veteran presence to a team dominated by youth, even so far up the ladder as head coach Brad Stevens. The usually level-headed, professional Williams would fit comfortably with a team still trying to determine its identity.
Tenure with the Grizzlies or Heat would be a waste in comparison to what Williams could do for the Celtics. Could he save them? No. But Williams’ presence in a Celtics jersey certainly wouldn’t be bad for Boston either.