NBA Trade Deadline: Cavs Send Mo Williams To the Clippers for Baron Davis
While the majority of Clevelanders are sleeping, the Cavaliers' front office is wheeling and dealing.
ESPN insider Chad Ford reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers have agreed in principle to a deal that will send Point Guard Mo Williams and Small Forward Jamario Moon to the Clippers for Point Guard Baron Davis and the Clippers' 2011 first round draft pick.
The move is bittersweet for Cavaliers fans; Mo Williams was the one of only two other All-Stars for the team during the LeBron James era, but fans could see the deal coming the entire season.
The Clippers are getting Williams, a younger starting point guard in his prime, as a replacement for Davis. While he's battled injuries for the majority of the season, when healthy, Williams will be a nice complement to rookie Blake Griffin.
He has the ability to create his own shot, spot up from three point range as well as distribute the ball. Many people had previously doubted his passing abilities, but this season, he's shown they were wrong with an increase in assist numbers.
Jamario Moon will be a defensive specialist and three point shooter off the bench for the Clippers, who have seemingly lacked both of those qualities at small forward all season. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Clippers buyout Moon and allow him to join a contender for the playoff stretch.
The best part of the deal for the Clippers is that they will save big time on Davis' contract. He's owed $13 million this season, $13.9 million next season and $14.8 million the season after that; in contrast, Mo Williams' contract actually decreases down to $8.5 million after this season.
Not to mention, he has a player option for the next two years and if he doesn't like the situation, he could become a free agent.
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, this deal was solely about the unprotected first round pick in the draft. Since the Clippers are not destined for the playoffs, it's more than likely to be a lottery pick. Of course, this means that the Cavaliers will own two lottery picks for the rebuild—and while many people feel that this draft is weak, it will be a nice starting place for an organization lacking an identity.
As for Baron Davis, if the Cavaliers acquire the motivated version of him then they're getting one of the best point guards in the game. He can shoot from anywhere on the court and score points in bunches when hot.
Overall, I would say that the Cavaliers did a good job of acquiring another potential lottery pick for 2011, while only adding $5 million more to their salary cap.
I think it's obvious that Dan Gilbert and company aren't afraid to spend to get this team back into contention.
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