Buried in Mark Heisler’s opinion piece on LeBron James is a trade nugget that I can’t help but mull over:
An NBA source says the Cavaliers then offered Mo Williams and Jamario Moon for the Clippers’ Baron Davis, desperate to please James, who likes Baron and was down on Mo … even with newly hired Coach Byron Scott having clashed with Davis in New Orleans.
While Mo Williams is nowhere near the distributor that Baron is (career averages of 4.8 compared to BD’s 7.4 assists), he’s a much, much better shooter (career .448 from the field and .396 from beyond the arc compared to Baron’s .409 and .319). And as for overall efficiency, in the last two years, Mo Williams’ has had 9.8 and 6.7 Win Shares, substantially better than Baron’s .6 and 4.5 WS.
But that’s not all. The Cavaliers included Jamario Moon in the alleged deal, which would have precluded the Clippers from needing to sign Ryan Gomes. And outside of 3-point percentage (Gomes is a career .360 to Jamario’s .320), it’s not even like the Clippers would have had to downgrade at SF. Jamario had .4 more win shares last year than Gomes (2.9 WS to 2.5).
Additionally, all this would have led to some pretty serious savings. Consider:
Baron Davis: three years and $41.85 million
Ryan Gomes: three years and $12 million
Mo Williams: three years and $26.3 milliion
Jamario Moon: two years and $4.82 million
That’s $22.73 million saved, with one fewer year at the SF.
Considering the looming lockout after this season, the savings/maintained cap flexibility and how poor Baron played last season, I have a hard time believing that the trade offer existed. But it’s an interesting rumor nonetheless.