After waiting around a lot longer than anyone expected, Mo Williams found a team in the Portland Trail Blazers, making him the backup to Damian Lillard, which makes the Portland Trail Blazers look better and better by the minute referring to their playoff chances, and probably the owners of the best point guard duo in the NBA in terms of starter-backup.
The Blazers have made some of the best additions this offseason on paper, with Williams, signing a two-year deal worth $5.6 million, joins Thomas Robinson and Dorrell Wright as newcomers to the team, and lets not forget C.J. McCollum, their first round draft pick.
The Blazers are going to have a very flexible team as opposed to last season, which was about an excellent starting five in Hickson, Matthews, Lillard, Batum and Aldridge but a terrible bench. This year, it seems like Lillard and McCollum will start in the backcourt, while Matthews and Williams back them up from the bench, although both of them are start-material players, and it gives Portland quite a lot of options to play with in their backcourt, as both McCollum and Williams can play both guard positions.
The Blazers finished at 33-49 after being close to the playoff race all season. Nicolas Batum playing injured and the team making a decision to start tanking near the end led to a rather bleak finish, losing their final 13 games, which usually isn’t the best way to build confidence heading into a new season.
Williams might not be the same player he was next to LeBron James, but he still averaged 12.1 points and 6.2 assists last season for the Utah Jazz, missing almost half of the season due to injury. He shot over 38% from beyond the arc, and had offers from the the Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat, but no one was willing to give him more than a minimum deal.
There are about six teams battling for the final two spots in the Western playoffs, as the top 6 spots seem like quite a lock. The Blazers, with yet another very good signing that also doesn’t limit them in the future, might be the best of those contenders.