Mo Williams signs offer sheet with Bucks, Jazz won't match

Mo Williams signs offer sheet with Bucks, Jazz won't match

Postby JSM on Sat Aug 07, 2004 2:00 pm

Maurice "Mo" Williams of the Jazz has signed an offer sheet with the Bucks, it is reportedly worth 5.5 million over the period of 3 years.
The Journal Times: On Friday, they made another significant move by convincing free-agent Maurice "Mo" Williams of the Utah Jazz to sign an offer sheet.

"Mo's very excited about it," Mark Bartelstein, Williams' agent said in a telephone interview Friday night. "He thinks it could be a great opportunity for him.'' Williams certainly has a chance to play extended minutes for the Bucks if Ford doesn't sufficiently recover from offseason cervical spine surgery. Bucks officials are optimistic Ford will return to action during the 2004-2005 season, but they have also made it clear that they won't rush him.

If Ford isn't available for action, James will step into the starting role and Williams would be his backup - if the Jazz don't match the Bucks' offer.

According to Bar-telstein, the Bucks' offer sheet is $5.5 million over three years. Williams earned $770,000 last season.

Because Williams is a restricted free agent, the Jazz have 15 days in which to decide whether to match the Bucks' offer and retain Williams' services.

"At this point, there's not much he can do but sit back and wait,'' Bartelstein said. "He likes Utah very much, but they have two other point guards, so it's tough getting playing time there.'' The 6-foot-1 Williams was chosen by the Jazz in the second round of the 2003 draft, the 47th pick overall. He appeared in 57 games for Utah, averaging five points and 1.3 assists in 13 minutes.

Despite being Utah's third point guard and seeing limited minutes, Williams had two impressive games after the All-Star break. He had 19 points in 20 minutes against Sacramento on Feb. 27, and he scored 17 points in 19 minutes against Dallas on April 8.

Williams had a career-high 20 points in a 32-minute stint against Denver on Jan. 20.

While the Utah coaches like Williams' potential, it's doubtful whether they can give him more minutes if he remained with the team next season. Utah starting point guard Carlos Arroyo is coming off a breakthrough season, and Jazz officials have high hopes for backup Raul Lopez, who was their first-round pick in 2001 and played in all 82 regular-season games last season.

Besides the issue of playing time, Bartelstein said Williams opted to sign the offer sheet with the Bucks because of their uptempo style under coach Terry Porter and because of a sales pitch by Milwaukee general manager Larry Harris.

"Larry Harris did a great job of selling the whole situation,'' Bartelstein said. "Larry presented the opportunities that Mo would have, about the future of the team and the direction they're going.''

Bartelstein said he didn't have any idea when Utah would respond to Williams' offer sheet.

"He has really worked hard this summer,'' Bartelstein said of Williams, who is from Jackson, Miss., and played collegiately at Alabama. "He's anxious to play a lot more and he could do that with the Bucks.''
Last edited by JSM on Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby GuRu on Sat Aug 07, 2004 3:36 pm

Win the Pacific. Win the West. Win a Ring
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Postby JSM on Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:38 pm

The Jazz have decided not to match the offer sheet the Bucks signed Williams to.
ESPN: The Utah Jazz on Saturday decided against matching the offer sheet tendered to restricted free-agent point guard Maurice "Mo" Williams by the Milwaukee Bucks.

With Olympians Carlos Arroyo and Raul Lopez at the point, the Jazz were not expected to keep Williams, a 2003 second-round pick who averaged 5.0 points and 1.3 assists in 57 games as a rookie.

"It was a difficult decision to make, but we will not be matching the offer sheet," Jazz vice president of basketball operations Kevin O'Connor said.

Williams' agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Journal Times of Racine when the offer was made that it was worth $5.5 million over three years. Williams earned $770,000 last season.

The Bucks apparently are not counting on having point guard T.J. Ford healthy for the upcoming season.
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Postby rydjorker121 on Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:22 pm

LakersGuRu wrote::freak2:

Naw, naw...don't give me that face....Mo Williams is better than you think, even though he should've spent an extra year or two in college. He's a good scorer with good basketball instincts. Nice defender too and pretty quick. Showed a lot of promise in his rookie season. It's just that the Jazz have Arroyo and Lopez as their PGs, so there wasn't enough time for him. I think my boy Mo will thrive in Milwaukee--he can flat out score, although his playmaking skills need work.
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Postby JSM on Sat Aug 21, 2004 8:38 pm

What really concerns me about this, is the whole TJ Ford injury. The Bucks must know something they aren't telling us and Ford's injury must be worse than we though. They signed Mo and Mike James, if they were planning on having TJ back any time in the near future, or at least in starting condition, they wouldn't have made these moves, I don't think. I really liked Ford, he had a good rookie year and looked promising. I hope this injury doesn't take anything from his career.
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