Post-trade deadline from the Clippers: Part II
The Clippers have had a fairly extensive history with newly acquired guard Mo Williams, dating back to his pre-draft days when he worked out with Neil Olshey.
More recently, the Clippers' Vinny Del Negro, who spent the last two seasons coaching Chicago, had a close view of Williams in the Eastern Conference. The Clippers finalized the deal with the Cavaliers on Thursday morning, sending Baron Davis and a draft pick to Cleveland in exchange for Williams and Jamario Moon.
"He's good in pick and rolls," Del Negro said. "The way Blake [Griffin] and Chris [Kaman], now when he’s healthy, will get double-teamed and stuff, you put Eric Gordon out there and you put Mo out there, obviously it stretches [the floor]. We need some more offensive power. That gives us some more flexibility.
"What Baron brought was, he is the quarterback out there. And we struggled early because we didn’t have that, trying to develop the young guys. And Baron came back and did a very good job for us and I think Mo is in that [mold]. They’re different players, but he has experience where he can control the game for us and get guys in the right spots. He’s been in big games. He’s a very good free-throw shooter. He makes big shots, and he’s got some experience and I think that’s more so what we needed."
Olshey, the Clippers' vice president of basketball operations, said he started talking about the current deal framework about a day and a half ago with the Cavaliers. There had been negotiations between the teams in the summer when the Cavaliers were attempting to keep LeBron James in the fold. Back then, however, the Clippers draft pick was not in the equation.
The Clippers will be giving up a first-round draft pick in June, but even insiders aren't especially high on this year's draft.
"We didn’t want to give up multiple assets. We felt like we gave up an asset in the pick," Olshey said. "...I’m not that high on the draft to begin with this year. We really like Mo Williams. We like the skill set he brings. He’s a great jump shooter. He can run a team. He can defend at the point of attack. He’s 28 years old. His contract is a little bit less cumbersome in terms of giving us more cap flexibility, not just next summer but the summer after."
Davis learned of the trade shortly before the Clippers took off to come home from New Orleans late Wednesday night.
"I talked to Baron extensively last night on the plane," Del Negro said. "...We talked about a lot of things. He didn’t start the season off the way he would’ve liked or the way I would’ve liked and that’s been well-documented, but I think Baron’s been real professional in how he handled things. When he was on the court, you saw the difference he makes in our team. I don’t think that’ll be any different in Cleveland. I have good, solemn respect for Baron and what he tried to help us do. He makes a difference."
-- Baxter Holmes and Lisa Dillman