Tony Dejak/Associated Press
The Atlanta Hawks traded guard Mo Williams to the Denver Nuggets Wednesday in exchange for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol.
The deal was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical early Wednesday morning. He added that Denver intends to waive Williams and his $2.2 million in order to get closer to the salary-cap floor, and that Atlanta will sign guard Gary Neal to a 10-day contract.
Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed the trade.
The 34-year-old veteran announced his intention to retire in September, but he never filed the paperwork, which meant his rights were still technically owned by the Cleveland Cavaliers entering the 2016-17 campaign.
Williams underwent knee surgery instead and left the Cavs in limbo regarding what to do with his contract.
He never suited up and was traded along with Mike Dunleavy Jr. to the Hawks in the deal that sent Kyle Korver to Cleveland.
Williams returned to Cleveland last offseason after spells with multiple teams. He originally played for the Cavaliers from 2008 through 2011 and made his first and only All-Star appearance with the team.
He began his career with the Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks, and since departing Cleveland the first time, he has played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Charlotte Hornets.
Although he was often unheralded in his 13 NBA seasons, career averages of 13.2 points and 4.9 assists show that he was a useful supporting-cast member during most of his stints.
The Cavs used Williams somewhat sparingly off the bench in 2015-16, as he appeared in just 41 contests due primarily to a nagging knee injury. He averaged 8.2 points and 2.4 assists in 18.2 minutes per game.
The former Alabama standout saw even less action during the playoffs, averaging 1.5 points in 5.2 minutes per game (13 games played).
Williams has yet to play this season, and while he still isn’t officially retired, he has yet to give any indication that he plans to take the court again.
He has developed into a trade chip simply due to his contract; however, this may be the final transaction of his career with Denver reportedly deciding to waive him.
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