The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired point guard Maurice Williams as part of a three team trade that included them sending Damon Jones to Milwaukee and Joe Smith to Oklahoma City, according to ESPN.com.
So now the big question for the Cavs is whether Williams is the right type of help for LeBron James. Although it's difficult to make any concrete conclusions until we see them go through a few regular season games together, it's fair to say that the Cavaliers should be a better team with this move.
Williams is by no means a "pure point guard" or a traditional distributor. That being said, it is not necessarily what the Cavaliers need. With a player like James, what's needed is a point guard who can help spread the court and keep the defense honest. Williams might be just that type of point guard.
Creating his own offense
Last season, Maurice Williams shot 48 percent from the field and nearly 40 percent from the three-point line while averaging 17.2 points per game and 6.3 assists. However, the biggest asset Williams brings is his ability to drive to the basket and create scoring opportunities. From the Draftexpress scouting report:
"Shows good touch around the basket. Finishes with a lot of creativity. Doesn’t deal well with contact, but can usually avoid it. Goes to the line at an average pace, something he should definitely work on...Very good ball handler and passer, even if he’s more of a scorer than a facilitator. Will break his man down off the dribble and drop the ball off to the open man when the defense collapses."
His ability to create offense is best captured by his usage rate, which is a statistic that measures a player's ability to create field goal attempts, free throw attempts, or assists. Williams ranked 14th in the NBA, just behind Steve Nash and just ahead of Mike Bibby. The ability to force the defense to collapse and find the open man is exactly what the Cavaliers were missing in the playoffs this year.
Offensively, it's hard to identify a better option for the Cavaliers—Williams is an efficient scorer and has the ability to create his own shot. As another scoring option, he'll help relieve some of the offensive pressure normally shouldered by James.
A reason to keep Delonte West
Defensively, Williams could not be mistaken for a stopper, but that's why it's important that the Cavaliers did not give Delonte West up in this trade. While Williams is a better ball handler when facing pressure, West is a probably a better defender and has shown that he is a tough player that can hit big shots. Of course, it would be best if they were wrapped into one player, but for the Cavaliers, these two guards complement each other nicely. That is, if they can re-sign West.
Considering the Cavaliers only gave up aging veterans Damon Jones and Joe Smith, the trade is an excellent move for the team that fills a glaring need.