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Examining the Baron Davis – Mo Williams Trade

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As of this writing there have been 3 major NBA trade deadline deals. I will examine them from my perspective and provide grades on how each team did. To clarify what makes a trade “major”, I mean involving all-stars.. No offense to James Johnson, Marcus Thornton, and Dan Gadzuric, but they aren’t going to be key elements to increasing a team’s win total, at least not a basketball team; all bets are off when it comes to water polo, dominoes, or chess. Let’s take a look at the most recent and work our way back.

Cavaliers Receive: Baron Davis, 2011 Unprotected 1st round pick.

Clippers Receive: Mo Williams, Jamario Moon.

Cleveland Grade: A

I absolutely love this deal from the Cavs perspective. Sure Baron Davis has issues with his motor that lead directly to increases in his waistline, but it’s not as if the Cavs were going to contend for a title next year anyway. They have little to no cap space for 2011 considering they are on the hook for Antawn Jamison and his 15M salary. What they do have is one of the best owners in professional sports: Dan Gilbert.  This trade, in effect, puts a dollar figure to the value of a lottery pick, around 12M. Williams is due 17M over the next two seasons while Davis is owed nearly 29M. With Gilbert opening up his wallet, this speeds up the rebuilding process and gives Cleveland a chance to be a very strong team in 2012/13 and beyond, when they will have a ton of cap space. Also, beginning next season, it will give the Cavs back-to-back years with gigantic expiring contracts; equivalent to gold in the NBA. Add to that, the fact that Davis is a better player than Williams, at least when he wants to be, and the Cavs may be at-least watchable the remainder of this year and, pending their draft picks, fun to watch next season. Besides, even if Davis decides he has no interest in actually playing for the Cavs, he will still provide a much needed economical spark to the city of Cleveland; one enormous restaurant bill at a time.

Clippers Grade: C

The Clippers accomplished their goal in getting rid of Baron Davis’ contract. All it took was giving away an unprotected lottery pick in the process. The Clippers are spinning this move as a show of how much they hate this year’s draft from a talent standpoint. Granted, there may not be too many standout, cant-miss players as of right now, but six months ago Harrison Barnes was supposed to be the next Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, etc. This just goes to show how much the draft can change in a short time. If he has a big March, he could vault himself back to the top of the board, but even if he doesn’t, he has the talent to be elite. Besides, I like drafts that the Clippers hate, aside from Blake Griffin, who was the most obvious #1 pick since LeBron James, the only time they have really gotten the draft right, is with Eric Gordon. How’s Yaroslav Korolev doing? How about Al-Farouq Aminu, Shaun Livingston, or Chris Wilcox? Back to the matter at hand, this deal gives the Clippers a little more room to work with in free agency this season. JaMario Moon is nothing but a warm-bodied throw-in. The Cavs were planning on buying him out today if they couldn’t find a taker.


One Response to “Examining the Baron Davis – Mo Williams Trade”

  1. Why didn’t the Clippers take Sir C.C. in the deal? The Cavaliers have one mascot too many.

    Posted by Dubba | February 28, 2011, 4:06 pm

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