Williams' six-year deal reportedly worth $52 million

Updated: July 16, 2007, 2:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mo Williams

Williams

Mo Williams will be returning to the Milwaukee Bucks after agreeing in principle to a six-year, $52 million contract, ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan has learned.

"The entire organization made it clear how important Mo was to them and their future," Williams' agent, Mark Bartelstein said in a story posted Saturday on the Web site of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The breakthrough in negotiations came when the Bucks increased their original offer as Williams was being heavily courted by the Miami Heat. Williams will have a player opt-out clause after the fourth and fifth year of the deal, which has an average annual salary of $8.67 million.

Williams was seeking a deal that would earn him similar money to what other starting point guards were making, but with money tight on this summer's free agent market, his leverage was limited. Miami and other teams could only offer Williams, who averaged career-bests of 17.3 points and 6.1 assists with the Bucks this past season, the mid-level exception of $5.3 million.

Signing Williams had been a priority for the Heat largely because the Heat have concerns about the health of incumbent starter Jason Williams -- who has battled several injuries during his two seasons in Miami and is rehabbing this summer at his home in Central Florida.

Bartelstein said the contract should be finalized early next week.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ALSO SEE