Clippers trade Baron Davis to Cavaliers for Mo Williams

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This is why they are the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s about compounding mistakes.

The Clippers and Cavaliers have agreed to a trade that sends point guard Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon, according to Marc Spears at Yahoo.

This is a huge win for the Clippers. They have been trying to get out from under Baron Davis’ contract — he is owed $28.6 million for the two seasons after this one — almost since the day Davis signed a five-year deal three years ago. Mo Williams is owed $18 million over the next two years. With Moon’s $3 million expiring contract, the Clippers save about $9 million for next season.

The Cavaliers get… I don’t know why they did this. They get a first-round pick this season that likely going to be in the 7-10 range and they said this is the primary motivation. This is a draft considered to have some nice role players in it but no stars. Are they really willing to pay $9 million in salary for the chance to draft a role player?

The problem is the Cavs also get Baron Davis. Who will be a disaster for them, on the court and in the locker room. Sure, Mo Williams has his own issues, but Davis brings a larger, more expensive set of them. Yes, Davis is playing better this season (13 points, 7 assists per game), but he was always better when he was engaged and motivated (he’s good when engaged). Blake Griffin did that for him this season — Davis dropped weight and was in the best shape in years. He loved running and feeding Griffin ally-oops. But even with all that his balky knee was giving him problems.

But that is not the Davis the Cavs will be getting. Trust me, they will soon have disinterested Baron — the one that jacks up threes early in the shot clock despite the fact he shoots under 30 percent from three. The one that coasts through games without energy. The one that is little more than an orange traffic cone for the opposing team to dribble around on defense. The one that shot 37 percent two years ago and 40 percent last season, but kept firing away at a crazy pace. And remember, Davis played for Byron Scott with the Hornets back in the day and that did not end well.

The Clippers get Mo Williams, who in and of himself is inconsistent. But he can shoot the three, and the Clippers need that. They have Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and the slashing Eric Gordon to get points inside. They need to stretch the floor. Williams can do that.

The Clippers will miss that first-round pick but freeing up that salary will give them a lot more flexibility to get a quality player than the pick would have. The Clippers have their young core, they need to go out and get some better players to go around them. This move gives them the flexibility to do so.

It’s a smart move for the Clippers. For the Cavs… well, that’s why they are the Cavs.

Bobby Portis apologizes for punching Nikola Mirotic in the face (VIDEO)

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As if this season wasn’t going to be hard enough for the Chicago Bulls, it started off on the wrong foot when Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic got into a fight during practice. That fight resulted in a facial fracture for Mirotic, putting one of Chicago’s best players out for multiple weeks.

Portis addressed the issue this week by apologizing to fans, the team, and Mirotic. However, Portis said that he has not heard from Mirotic since the fight, and that he did not respond when he tried to call his teammate.

Video of Portis’ apology is interesting if only because it’s a bit hard to discern the level of sincerity.

Via Twitter:

Chicago is 0-2 on the season. Portis is in the middle of serving an 8 game suspension for the incident.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scores career-high 44, dedicates game to father

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — After scoring a career-high 44 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo wrote a note on the game ball.

“This is for daddy. We got a win tonight,” the 22-year-old Milwaukee Bucks player said, remembering his father, Charles, who died last month at age 54.

Antetokounmpo scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, including a dunk that put Milwaukee ahead 111-110 with 11 seconds to go.

After a timeout, Damian Lillard found Jusuf Nurkic running open down the lane, but Antetokounmpo blocked his shot at the basket, sending the 7-foot center crashing to the floor.

Antetokounmpo, starting his fifth NBA season, made 17 of 23 shots with eight rebounds and four assists as Milwaukee kept pace with a Portland team that had dominated its first two opponents. The Bucks star is averaging 38.3 points through three games, up from 22.9 last year, 16.9 in 2015-16 and 12.7 in 2014-15.

“Seventy-nine more. This is just the beginning,” he said, thinking about how many regular-season games remain.

After Nurkic was rejected at the basket, Khris Middleton was fouled and made both free throws.

“They committed two guys to Dame, so somebody was going to be open,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said, referring to Lillard. “Turned out to be Nurk but they made a really good defensive play.”

Lillard scored 26 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter. CJ McCollum also scored 26, and Nurkic had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Tony Snell scored 17 points and Middleton added 16 for Milwaukee.

 

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant ejected at end of loss to Grizzlies

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Stephen Curry is going to get fined for this.

The former MVP was frustrated, his team losing and thinking he was fouled by Mike Conley as he attacked the rim late in the Warriors loss in Memphis Saturday night. Curry threw his mouthpiece at the referee, which deservedly got him ejected instantly.

Durant followed him to the locker room, making a gesture that will earn him a fine as well.

The Warriors are 1-2 to start the season and there are a lot of factors at play. The China trip does this to teams, and throw in three straight trips to the Finals on top of it and it has an impact. The team is a little banged up. However, the biggest issue is their defense is a mess right now.

The Warriors will straighten it out eventually, but the start of the season could be a rough one for them.

Pacers owner says team not for sale, will not be moved from Indianapolis

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There are more than a few NBA owners who are seeing the prices teams are being sold for — the Rockets just sold for a record $2.2 billion — and considering their options. Some other billionaires are looking for teams, several with the goal of packing up the franchise and moving it to their respected hometowns.

Those billionaires need not call Herb Simon. The Pacers owner said the team is not going anywhere, speaking to Gregg Doyel of the IndyStar.

“I want to leave my legacy: This team permanently in Indianapolis,” Simon told IndyStar Friday in an interview at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “That’s my No. 1 goal.”

Simon bought the Pacers in 1983 with his older brother, Melvin — who died in 2009 at age 82. He told IndyStar the team someday will be owned by his 53-year-old son, Steve. Behind the scenes, Steve Simon has been working closely with Pacers Sports and President Rick Fuson for five years — “He knows more about the dollars and cents than I do,” Herb said of his son — and met this week with several department heads.

“If anything happens to me, he’d be taking over,” Herb said, adding that father and son are on the same page: The Pacers are staying in Indianapolis.

Good. That is as it should be.

Indiana is part of America’s basketball heartland, and it should have a team. Pacers fans are smart and loyal, and the team has a long history going back to the ABA, running from Mel Daniels and George McGinnis through Reggie Miller and up to Myles Turner (hopefully he can be on the level of the rest of them someday). They play in the coolest basketball building in the league, one with the history of the sport wolven in.

Indy is the nation’s 27th largest television market, bigger than San Antonio, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and other successful NBA franchises. There is no reason the Pacers cannot thrive, so long as ownership is committed.

They are. Which is excellent news for Pacers’ fans.