We had heard this was being discussed yesterday afternoon, but shortly after midnight we finally got confirmation that this deal might actually happen. Well, now it is being reported that the Los Angeles Clippers have reached an agreement to send Baron Davis to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Mo Williams.
The Cavaliers will also get an unprotected first-round pick for the 2011 draft, while the Clippers will also get forward Jamario Moon.
The 31-year-old Davis signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the Clippers before the 2008-09 season and hasn’t lived up to that deal. He has finally started to fit in with his team’s young supporting cast of late, but is still averaging just 12.8 points and 7.0 assists this year while seeming to constantly be battling injuries.
The 28-year-old Williams has seen his scoring drop to 13.2 points per game this season, after reaching a career-high of 17.8 two seasons ago. He has also played in just 26 games, averaging 29.6 minutes per game (he averaged 34.2 last year and 35 the year before). Williams suffered through a hip injury earlier in the season.
Earlier in the year following the departure of LeBron James, Williams became the vocal leader of the Cavaliers. Yes, the team has been one of the worst in sports history this season, but still Williams has gained the respect of many around the league. He also took to his twitter account over the summer to beg to not be traded.
As if Cavs fans haven’t suffered enough, now they just lost the one guy who really wanted to be there.
Other than netting a first rounder we can’t really understand this deal for the Cavs. Yes, they aren’t going anywhere with Williams and need to continue to build for the future, but adding Davis’ contract just seems silly. He’s owed $28 million over the next two years and won’t give anywhere near the level of production for that salary.
On the other hand, Williams is owed the rest of his $9.3 million salary this year, and holds player options of $8.5 million for each of the next two seasons. The net savings for the Clippers is certainly worth losing that first-round pick considering that the upcoming draft is considered to be very weak. While it will likely be a top-1o selection, the Clippers have all the youth they need currently and want to save cap space for the future.