Cavs Finalize Trade For Mo Williams

by Ryne Nelson

Today’s rumors happened to be true. This from Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon-Journal, who broached the news this afternoon:

The Milwaukee Bucks traded point guard Mo Williams to the Cavs in exchange for the expiring contracts of guard Damon Jones and forward Joe Smith. As part of the deal, the Bucks will receive Jones and Oklahoma City point guard Luke Ridnour. Oklahoma City acquires Smith and Bucks forward Desmond Mason. Oklahoma City also will send swingman Adrian Griffin to the Bucks.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Bucks get: Luke Ridnour, Damon Jones, Adrian Griffin

Contrary to popular opinion, this might not be bad for the Bucks. Sure the Bucks got a tofu platter in return for Williams, but there’s some bright points as well.

First and foremost, they clear cap space. The Bucks are building around Michael Redd, Joe Alexander, Andrew Bogut and Richard Jefferson and trying to convert their expiring contracts (Jones, Griffin, Charlie Villanueva) into another key cog.

Clearly, Williams and Redd weren’t clicking in the Bucks’ backcourt.

Ridnour can run a team, but the Bucks still have four point guards. Something else might be in the works for the Bucks this summer.

Oklahoma City gets: Joe Smith, Desmond Mason

Weird fact: the only cities in which Mason played are Seattle, Milwaukee and OKC – the three cities involved in the deal.

Smith could play decent minutes, but his expiring contract is of the most value to GM Sam Presti, who collected five contracts that will come off the books in a year.

OKC has the ammunition. They’ll have to pull the trigger to obtain some major talent in the near future.

Cavs get: Mo Williams

Cleveland gave-up essentially nothing for a young, talented point guard – a position at which they were clearly lacking last season. Williams is known to dominate the ball at times.

However, he’s now playing with LeBron.

If Cleveland can parlay Wally Szczerbiak’s expiring contract by February’s trade deadline, the Cavs might be poised for another run to the Finals.

The question now moves to whether the Cavs will retain Delonte West. Since Cleveland’s second-round elimination, West’s camp and Cavs management have been not-so-quietly feuding over what constitutes a ‘fair’ contract.

Could a trade for J.R. Smith still be in the works?