Thursday, February 24, 2011

Instant Trade Analysis: Baron to the Cavaliers

Cleveland Gets: Baron Davis, Clips 2011 1st rounder

LAC Gets: Jamario Moon, Mo Williams

Wow. You think these two things have anything to do with one another? - Donald Sterling Heckling Baron Davis. Hmmm. Donald Sterling not being behind his players. Interesting.

Baron is owed $28 million for the next two seasons, and a prorated portion of $13 million this season. Mo has two $8.5 mil player options the next two seasons, so (I can't imagine he turns down $17 million dollars - they're not having hour long specials on where Mo Williams will decide to play next season) and Jamario is expiring in a few months. The pick that the Clips will have this season will be in the lottery, anywhere from 1 to 10.

I don't see this as a win for either side, really. Yes, Cleveland gets a lottery pick this year (in a not-so-great draft, but whatever - they get a top-10 pick in an NBA draft to go along with their presumed top-3 pick), but they also get Baron Davis, who signed a big contract to come home to LA who will now pack up his bags to play for the worst team in the league in Ohio. This may work out, because Baron gets super-motivated when the odds are against him and he has to drag a team of stiffs to be at least a competitive team...oh wait, I was thinking of ANY OTHER PLAYER IN THE GAME BESIDES BARON DAVIS.

How could Cleveland possibly think this will work? Baron is barely motivated playing at home with one of the best, most exciting players in the league. What makes them think he's gonna get fired up throwing missed alley-oops to Ryan Hollins and watching Anthony Parker miss from distance after a pretty pass? Baron has pouted in almost every situation he's ever been in - and now he's playing for the worst team in the league with a coach that he famously clashed with in New Orleans (which subsequently got him shipped out to Golden State for Speed Claxton, amongst others. Yeah, for real. Speedy Claxton). This has "disaster" written all over it. I wouldn't be surprised if Baron did something crazy like ask for a $3.00 buyout just so he could get out of there. Or retire. Seriously. I wouldn't be surprised.

On the Clippers side, they got out of Baron's contract (saving about $10 million - hmmm, Donald Sterling cutting costs. Not getting along with his players and making trades that help no one. Interesting....I feel like I'm Bill Murray in Puxatawney, PA). However, he was just starting to get into a rhythm with Blake and if you they even went .500 during their 1-13 start, they'd be a borderline playoff team. Mo Williams is a fine player, but he's not someone you want running your offense (I suppose this means they are turning over the team to Eric Bledsoe, who is more of a true point). However, as I mentioned, they're giving up a top-10 pick. I mostly think this was a mistake because of the principle alone of trading a potentially high lottery pick just to save money essentially (hmmm - Donald Sterling cutting costs. Interesting). On the flip side, the Clippers would probably blow the pick anyway, so I suppose the pick loses value right there.

Jamario Moon has a fun name, and that's about all I have to say about him.

Overall, I guess Cleveland wins, kind of. They used their trade exception from some guy who left in July, gave away a decent player for a guy who might never play for them (even if he plays a game, you're gonna someone who looks like Baron Davis, except this guy will be angry, disinterested, sad, and a little confused all at the same time - think Anthony Randolph minus having watched the Human Centipede 3 times. Maybe only once) and thus essentially paid $28 million for a first round pick in a mediocre draft.

On a sidenote, totally despicable move by Sterling. Baron has not lived up to his contract, sure, but again, he was just starting to get some traction with this team. Next year, with another body, someone through free agency, and a burgeoning Eric Gordon/Griffin/DeAndre core, they could have made a playoff push, or at the very least, been a super fun team to watch. But instead, they shipped him off to the worst possible environment (seriously, think about that - a team with zero upside right now, 2,500 miles away from home - where he was playing - with a historically bad record and a coach he doesn't get along with). Such disrespect for a Los Angeles legend. I hope Baron averages 40 against the Clippers for the rest of his career.

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