Bucks reportedly sign G Williams to six-year deal

Jul 14, 2007 - 6:39 PM MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Mo Williams apparently cashed in on his career season.

Williams agreed to a six-year, $52 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, according to a report on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's web site.

After showing signs of steady improvements over his first three years in the NBA, Williams emerged as a legitimate backcourt scoring threat this past season, averaging career highs of 17.3 points, 6.1 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 68 games.

The 6-1 guard reportedly was a top free-agent target of the Miami Heat, who are desperate to find a complementary scorer to flank Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O'Neal.

But Williams' agent - Mark Bartelstein - told the Journal-Sentinel that his client decided to return to Milwaukee after receiving a vote of confidence from Bucks owner Herb Kohl and general manager Larry Harris.

"Senator Kohl and Larry Harris and the entire organization made it clear how important Mo was to them and their future," Bartelstein told the newspaper. "They stepped up big-time and made it clear how much they wanted him."

Williams returns to a talented Bucks team which was ravaged by injuries en route to a 28-54 record this past season. Virtually every regular on the team was sidelined by a long-term injury, including All-Star guard Michael Redd, center Andrew Bogut, forward Charlie Villanueva and swingman Bobby Simmons.

Even the 24-year-old Williams, who was one of the only Bucks consistently in the lineup, missed nine games in January while nursing a shoulder injury.

A 2003 second-round draft selection, Williams owns career averages of 11.3 points, 4.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 263 games with the Bucks and the Utah Jazz.

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