The Miami Heat avoided the Cleveland Cavaliers label last year following the reemergence of guys like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Shane Battier deep into their postseason run.
Miami will try to stay far away from being a completely LeBron-centric team, but they could be looking more like the Cavaliers if they end up following through on interest in former Cavaliers point guard, Mo Williams.
Williams, a member of the Utah Jazz last year, is drawing interest from several teams, including the Heat. The 6’1″ point guard has received little interest in his free agency journey, but has attracted suitors after giving in and stating that he’s willing to sign a one-year deal with a contender.
A veteran looking to join a contender? Of course the Heat is going to end up in those conversations.
Williams was a member of LeBron’s Cavaliers for two years. In that short time, Mo became an All-Star, thanks in part to LeBron, and experienced the two best shooting seasons of his career.
He shot 44 percent from beyond the arc in 2009 and 43 percent in 2010. However, the season after LeBron left, Mo shot a paltry 27 percent from three before being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers midway through the 2010-11 campaign.
Williams’ three-point shooting has since improved, converting at least 38 percent of his three-pointers over the past two-and-a-half seasons, which includes the half-year he spent with the Clippers following the trade.
If Mo were to stay with Utah, he would be competing with rookie Trey Burke for playing time. He has already told the Jazz he does not want to be a member of their bench after playing and starting in 46 games for Utah last year.
Williams averaged 12.9 points, shot 38 percent from three and dished out 6.2 assists per as Utah’s starting point guard last season.
At the moment, it would seem the Heat would be more interested in obtaining a rebounding and defensive specialist for next year. Even with Mike Miller departing, the Heat has James Jones and Rashard Lewis waiting for an opportunity to step up.
But with the Heat reportedly showing interest in Williams, it’s worth taking a look at if he fits the mold.
Williams may have minded coming off the bench for a Utah team that may finish dead-last in the West next year, but he may be singing a different tune if he comes off the bench of a Heat team that’s going to be competing for a title.
He has averaged 30 minutes per game in his career, but it could be ring-chasing time for the soon-to-be-31-year-old.
As far as fitting the Heat mold, it’s tough to see Mo being a piece to the puzzle. He ranked 121st as a spot-up shooter last season, per Synergy, but did shoot 44 percent from three-point range on 68 attempts.
Spot-ups are an extremely significant part of the Heat offense. Miami doesn’t ask for much from its role players, save for providing some needed intangibles and getting its shooters to make the open shots they receive courtesy of the influences of guys like Wade and James.
Williams performed well as a shooter, but his defense was deplorable. He ranked 342nd in points give up per possession, including an embarrassing ranking of 386th when defending spot-up shooters.
He also ranked 192nd when defending the pick-and-roll ball-handler. Considering there are guards such as Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams the Heat may have to face before even reaching the Finals, Williams would be on the bench when those All-Stars are on the floor.
Adding another point guard seems redundant for the Heat. The team already has enough ball-handlers, and there should be no reason why Norris Cole’s development should be stunted because the Heat need to play someone who is nearly the offensive equivalent to Mario Chalmers.
Miami can’t afford to have defensive liabilities on the floor, especially on the defensive end and especially when it comes to defending point guards.
This Williams-to-Miami rumor may be harmless speculation, though. The Heat also showed interest in point guard Sebastian Telfair earlier in the offseason, but little else was made of it.
Wait until Greg Oden makes his decision before seeing the Heat follow through on any sort of move.
The Oden-to-Miami deal could be happening soon. Word is the center will be looking to make his decision as soon as Monday.
With Oden soon to make a signing, the Heat’s interest in Marcus Camby has withered to nothing, leaving the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets as potential destinations for the 39-year-old who played 24 games for the New York Knicks in an injury-plagued 2012-13 campaign.
Update (1:03pm 7/28/13): Marcus Camby has signed with the Houston Rockets, per Marc Spears.