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Clippers set to deal Baron Davis to Cavaliers for Mo Williams

The Clippers' deal is expected to be finalized Thursday, according to a league source.

February 23, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Clippers guard Baron Davis, right, tries to steal the ball away from Cleveland's Mo Williams during the Cavaliers' 126-119 victory on Feb. 11.
Clippers guard Baron Davis, right, tries to steal the ball away from Cleveland's… (Tony Dejak / Associated…)

The Clippers and the Cavaliers agreed in principle Wednesday to a deal that would send veteran point guard Baron Davis to Cleveland for guard Mo Williams, according to a league source who was not authorized to speak about the trade discussions.

There are other moving parts to the deal, which should be finalized by Thursday morning or afternoon, barring unforeseen complications, the source said.

The Clippers will also send their No. 1 pick from the upcoming draft in June to Cleveland, getting back small forward Jamario Moon in return. Moon is averaging 4.5 points this season. Williams is averaging 13.3 points and 7.1 assists.

For Davis, the deal will reunite him with former coach Byron Scott; to say they had a rocky relationship when they were in New Orleans is a huge understatement.

Earlier in the day, reporting elements of a potential deal, was David Aldridge of NBA.com, who said that the Cavaliers could take on Davis' big salary because of the trade exception they got from Miami in the LeBron James sign-and-trade.

All this unfolded during the Clippers' latest road loss, putting them at 2-8 on this trip and back-to-back losses after the All-Star break. New Orleans beat the Clippers, 98-87, at New Orleans Arena.

The Clippers committed 23 turnovers. Rookie power forward Blake Griffin led them with another double-double as he had 21 points and 13 rebounds in a game-high 43-plus minutes.

Several other elements played out through the day and night on Wednesday, adding fuel to the Davis trade reports.

Williams was inactive for the Cavaliers' game against Houston, and the Clippers decided to keep Davis out, citing his swollen left knee. Davis had wanted to play, but the decision to sit him was made by Coach Vinny Del Negro.

On top of everything, the Cavaliers have scheduled a news conference for Thursday at 4 p.m. EST in Cleveland.

As for Davis, he said he had no knowledge of a pending deal.

The deadline is 3 p.m. EST.

Clippers vice president Neil Olshey, who was not in New Orleans, could not be reached for comment. Earlier Wednesday, he indicated, via e-mail, that there was "nothing worth talking about."

Davis is making $13 million this season and has two years left on his contract, earning nearly $14 million next season and $14.8 million in the final year.

Williams is at $9.3 million this season and, like Davis, has two years remaining.

It has been a difficult few days for Davis. He was emotional on Tuesday night at Oklahoma City, saying he was dealing with a serious family issue, a family member had taken ill and was in the hospital.

The Clippers' third-leading scorer also had visible problems with his movement against the Thunder and said the swollen knee could keep him out through the weekend.

"I'm a little upset my knee is acting up," Davis said before the Clippers played the Hornets. "When I'm out there, I'm giving it my all, but sometimes with the increased minutes and things like that, it didn't work out. It just compounded the situation

"On the road trip, each and every game, it was becoming more and more swollen. I was just trying to battle through the road trip and get through to the weekend so I could get back on therapy and get an amount of rest. Once Sunday rolled around, and then Monday, I really didn't feel like I could do much at practice."

It was even more difficult against the Thunder. Davis played 26 minutes, going one for eight from the field for two points, and had four assists. Del Negro decided to shut him down largely based on that game.

"I just wasn't comfortable after watching him last night," Del Negro said. "That long road trip took a toll Why put him out there if he's going to be half-speed? You've got to play at this level and he's not right now, with his health, not there. Let me see if he can get some rest and see if he responds a little bit better and get him out there for Friday."

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

Twitter.com/reallisa

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