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Mo Williams to Back Up Rubio in Minnesota

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed point guard Mo Williams to a one-year contract for $3.75 million. His signing is not the precursor to superstar Kevin Love deciding to remain in Minnesota.

What Williams will be to Minnesota is a talented point guard who has minimal risk and great talent regardless of the final outcome of the Love saga.

Finding a backup who is capable for Ricky Rubio has been a search that until now has been fruitless.

Minnesota had two other options prior to signing Williams, but both were less talented. J.J. Barea had one productive season in 2012-13 and Alexey Shved has a jump shot close to Rubio’s but lacks his playmaking skills.

Inking Williams gives the Timberwolves an automatic upgrade over both of those players. He plays well off the ball and can hit from long distance. Williams hit 37% of his attempts from three-point territory last season.

Any guard playing with the Timberwolves must excel at off the ball scoring since Rubio is at his best with the ball in hand to either shoot or drive to the hope and create scoring opportunities for his teammates.

Williams likely will be a good match with Rubio when on the court and a solid replacement for him when Rubio rests. With two young players in Gorgui Dieng and Zach LaVine, the Timberwolves will have a solid second unit that will need veteran presence and Williams has that.

You cannot mention the Timberwolves without touching upon the Love trade saga. The club continues to receive and review offers of which at last count were thought to be more than a dozen.

The thought that Love will remain with Minnesota is almost non-existent at this point.

When the trigger is finally pulled by the Timberwolves on a trade deal, the club will likely try to include one or two of their own players in the package.

Barea and Kevin Martin have been mentioned as part of any deal that is made for Love.

The backcourt for Minnesota with the Williams signing is very crowded with Rubio and Martin starting and then Williams, LaVine, Shved and Barea.

The likelihood is that Berea and Martin will leave as well as Shved. Martin will be the toughest to deal as he has three years to go on his contract, while Shved and Berea are in their last year.

The Timberwolves have a deeper and better roster signing Williams. If Love is not traded with the hope of convincing him to stay at the end of the season, Williams gives Minnesota a stronger roster to win games.

On the business side, his one-year contract is cap friendly if the Timberwolves end up needing room for keeping Love or for signing new talent once Love is gone.

The Williams signing is a smart move by the Timberwolves.

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