|Trade deadline updates||02.24.11 at 10:14 am ET|
All day long we’ll be updating this post with news and analysis from across the NBA as the trade deadline ticks down to 3 p.m. Check back often for updates. (Note: All contract information comes from Sham Sports, recognized as the best independent source for contract numbers on the Internet).
The deal: Clippers trade Baron Davis and an unprotected 2011 first round draft to Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon
Source: Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears who says they have a deal in principle
Analysis: This is a money dump, pure and simple. Davis has two years and over $28 million left on his deal. He has also feuded with Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who taunted his player during games in full earshot of reporters. To rid themselves of Davis’ contract the Clips threw in an unprotected No. 1 pick in this year’s draft.
While that looks like typical Clippers shortsightedness in a league where lottery protection on draft picks is usually a given, this year’s draft is said to be among the weakest in years. Still, the draft always yields unexpected gems and the Cavaliers will now have two lottery picks.
In return, the Clippers received Williams who has had an injury-plagued season for the woeful Cavs. Williams has two years and $17 million left on his deal (he has an early termination option after this year and a player option for the year after that). Moon is in the last year of his contract, which pays him $3 million.
In a basketball sense, the Cavs got the better player but that’s not why they made this deal. With a massive rebuilding project ahead of them, the Cavs are stockpiling draft picks. If Davis shows up motivated and stays in shape, that’s just a bonus.
Williams isn’t nearly the playmaker that Davis is and that could have an effect on Blake Griffin, who was on the receiving end of all those Davis lobs for his highlight-reel dunks. This deal does open the door for rookie point guard Eric Bledsoe to take on a larger role.
Winner: Cavs (slight edge)
Both teams got something they wanted. The Clippers got rid of Davis, and saved some money in the process, while the Cavs got a high draft pick. We’ll have to wait for the draft to see just how valuable that pick becomes.
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