Thursday, May 31, 2012
Report cards: Williams
By Pedro Moura
Here is the 10th player capsule in our ongoing look back at the 2011-2012 season for the Los Angeles Clippers and forward at the 2012-2013 season. The series runs until next week, examining every player who finished the season on the roster as well as the head coach.
2011-2012 contributions: Mo Williams had some really impressive stretches this season, like the 10 straight games in which he scored at least a dozen points early in the year. He also had some poor stretches, although they were generally shorter in duration. In particular, his month of January was fantastic -- he averaged more than 15 points per game in just over 27 minutes, all while shooting 53 percent from the field and 47 percent from 3-point range. And he had a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Alas, that month was followed up by a 35-percent shooting February. He also did poorly to score in double digits only three times in 11 playoff games. In general, it does seem somewhat telling that the Clippers went 11-3 when Williams was out of commission this season.
2012-2013 prediction: Williams has total control of whether or not he'll be back with the Clippers next season at an $8.5 million pay rate, and he insists he's going to take them up on that opt-in stipulation in his contract. If he does indeed follow through with that, he can feel reasonably assured that his sixth-man role won't change much with next season's Clippers, because his return will give them little cap flexibility to make wide-reaching moves. If he doesn't, he'll likely be leaving for less money in 2012-2013 but a nice four- or five-year guarantee. For the Clippers, there are worse things in the world than having to pay Williams that $8.5 million next season. He's worth at least $5 or $6 million on the open market -- if not more -- and he'll be on an expiring contract, too.