That leaves the issue of Davis mending fences with Scott. Scott took over as Hornets coach before the 2004/05 season, and he immediately clashed with Davis. Davis wanted more control than Scott was willing to give him, and Davis essentially demanded a trade because of it. However, Grant said that Scott is on board with the idea of Davis playing for the Cavaliers.
On Byron and Baron's relationship:"No concern. Byron and I have talked about this throughout the entire process. Byron is totally on board."
Jamario Moon was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers early Thursday along with Mo Williams in a deal that sent Baron Davis and a first-round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Moon was needed in the deal to make the salaries match and get the trade legal under NBA rules without forcing the Cavaliers to use their valued trade exception from the LeBron James sign-and-trade. Moon, a 30-year-old four-year veteran, is on an expiring contract, and will likely be on the fringe of the NBA going forward. He had parlayed a solid first two seasons in the league into a three-year deal with Cleveland, and backed up James before the two-time MVP split.
But if any team makes sense for what Moon offers, the Clippers might be it. L.A.'s worst position this season has been small forward; rookie Al-Farouq Aminu is years away from putting it together, and free agent pick-up Ryan Gomes isn't the best defender in the world. That's what L.A. needs most, a defender to slot between power forward Blake Griffin and shooting guard Eric Gordon. Moon has always been a plus defender despite his lanky frame; he's had a strong block rate through his career, given his position on the floor.
Unfortunately, Moon's age likely precludes him from being a long-term solution in L.A. Aminu figures to be a defensive-minded forward when it's all said and done, and given that the rookie is a decade younger than the newcomer, it would make sense to focus on Al-Farouq instead of Jamario. But in the mean time, look for Moon to help the Clippers a little bit before the end of the season. They've had far worse small forwards in recent years.
Baron Davis was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers early Thursday in advance of the NBA trade deadline, but the more important piece in the deal is certainly the Los Angeles Clippers' unprotected 2011 first-round pick. Unprotected Clippers picks might as well be the gold standard for NBA transactions; the Clippers have made the playoffs once since in the new millennium, which means that their first-round pick always has a shot at being No. 1 overall. (See: Blake Griffin, Michael Olowakandi.)
The Cavs pulled the Clippers' 2011 pick unprotected, and that's a huge boon. The Clippers currently look as if they will finish with the sixth or seventh worst record in the NBA, though they could be as bad as the fourth-worst or as good as the ninth-worst. In all likelihood, the pick will be no lower than No. 9, and as high as No. 1. Remember that the Chicago Bulls had the ninth-worst record in the league when their ping pong balls turned up Derrick Rose in 2008.
Davis is a huge burden at $28 million over two more seasons; while the Cavaliers dropped the $17 million owed to Mo Williams over that same span, Davis will really cut into any plans Cleveland has in free agency. But for a team building from the ground up -- as the Cavs are and should be doing -- that pick is worth it. The only teams that should sell lottery picks are teams on the absolute verge of greatness. The Clippers have some great pieces in Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. But they aren't close to "good," let alone "great." The player selected with the Clippers' 2011 pick could have been a great addition to that core; now, he'll (hopefully) be a boon to Cleveland.
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers reportedly look for more opportunities to build young. Taking on toxic assets like Davis is obviously something Cleveland is willing to do to get better.
Only six teams have fewer wins than the Clippers, meaning that the pick sent to the Cavs should be well inside the top 10. Cleveland's own pick should be no lower than No. 4, as the Cavs will almost assuredly finish with the league's worst record.
The biggest on-court impact is the break-up of the wonderful Davis-to-Blake Griffin alley-oop combination. Griffin, the incredible rookie forward who made the All-Star team on the coaches' vote and won the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest by leaping over a car, receives many of his most audacious highlight-reel lobs from Davis, who is otherwise reviled for his perceived poor work ethic and lazy game. Williams is not quite as good a passer as Davis; Williams, long LeBron James' sidekick in Cleveland, is more a shooting point.
If Williams does not opt out, the Clippers will only save $11 million over two seasons in the deal; considering how high the 2011 pick could land, L.A. may have some indication that Williams wants to opt out and sign one more long deal. Given the state of collective bargaining in the NBA, that seems unlikely.