SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - The Utah Jazz have decided to bring back one of their former players.
Mo Williams has agreed to a trade that would send him from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Jazz. Utah would use their trade exception they acquired when they traded Mehmet Okur to New Jersey last December and would not have to give a player up in the deal. The Clippers would receive Lamar Odom from Dallas, while the Mavericks would be able to take Odom's $8.2 million off their books.
The Jazz will pay Williams $8.5 million in the final year of his contract.
"It's where it all began," Williams told ESPN.com. "I'm excited about the opportunity."
Williams was originally drafted by the Jazz with the 47th overall pick in 2003. He played one season in Utah. But when he received an offer sheet from the Milwaukee Bucks, Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor declined to match it. It was a decision O'Connor regrets to this day.
"I've always said he's my worst mistake," said O'Connor. "I've made a few, but I've always said he's my worst mistake. I believe that letting him go and the number that he got in restricted free agency was something we shouldn't have done."
"He's a great player," added head coach Tyrone Corbin.
Williams has played nine seasons in the NBA with Utah, Milwaukee, Cleveland and the Clippers. He averages 13.8 points and 4.9 assists per game. He was an all-star with Cleveland in 2009, when he averaged 17.8 points per game. For his career, Williams is a 44 percent shooter, including 39 percent from 3-point range.
While Williams is only 6-foot-1, he can play both the point guard and shooting guard posistions. He provides the outside shooting help the Jazz desperately need. However, Williams has missed 36 games the last two seasons because of various injuries.
The Jazz also announced they are excercising their team option on Jamaal Tinsley, giving the team four veteran point guards along with Devin Harris and Earl Watson.
Tinsley is a nine-year NBA veteran who has appeared in 473 career games (367 starts) with Indiana, Memphis and Utah, and holds career averages of 9.3 points, 6.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 27.7 minutes. The former first-round pick (27th overall by the Vancouver in 2001) appeared in 37 games (one start) for the Jazz during the 2011-12 season, his first in Utah, and averaged 3.7 points, 1.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 13.7 minutes.
The Jazz also made a qualifying offer to slam dunk champion Jeremy Evans.