The rumored trade that would send Mo Williams to Cleveland is now reality. In a 3 team trade, Cleveland will send shooting guard Damon Jones to Milwaukee and forward Joe Smith to Oklahoma City. Milwaukee also will get point guard Luke Ridnour and forward Adrian Griffin from Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City also gets Desmond Mason, the athletic small forward, from the Bucks and the Cavs get point guard Mo Williams. The trade was basically a salary dump for the Bucks to avoid having to play the luxury tax. The 6-foot-1 Williams averaged 17.2 points and a team-high 6.3 assists for the Bucks last season. This should take some of the scoring pressure off of LeBron James. Williams will likely be the starting point guard and Daniel Gibson, who they signed to a 5 year contract will likely be the back up. This leaves Delonte West hanging. Sources said the Cavs still want to bring West back and feel that he could be their starting shooting guard and play next to Williams. Delonte could take the qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he can't get what he feels he deserves in a contract from the Cavs now.
Mo Williams wasn't the only point guard on the move on Wednesday. The Atlanta Hawks signed Flip Murray, a 6 year veteran who can play both guard spots. Murray has averaged 9.3 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds in his career with Milwaukee, Seattle, Cleveland, Detroit and Indiana. He is expected to back up both Mike Bibby at point guard and Joe Johnson at the shooting guard spot.
The USA Women's team absolutely crushed Mali on Wednesday with a 97-41 win to move to a perfect 3-0 in Olympic play. They got off to a slow start as Mali actually led at 8-7 but they sure made up for it once they got going. Lisa Leslie led all scorers with 16 points, to go along with four boards and three blocks, on a perfect 7-for-7 from the field. The USA women's team has now won its three games in Beijing by an average of 47.0 points. Simply amazing.
In spite of the controversy over their inappropriate team photo, the Spanish men's team keeps playing good basketball. Thursday, Spain defeated Germany 72-59. Team members have apologized for the photo, saying it was meant to be funny and in no way did they mean it to be offensive. Unfortunately for them, almost no one saw the humor in it. The USA got the monkey off their back and beat Greece 92-69. Greece was the team that defeated them in the world championships two years ago. Next up for the United States will be a clash with Spain, who should provide one of the toughest matchups for Team USA in their quest for the Gold. The Spanish team has more NBA players than any team other than Team USA. Spain and the United States are both undefeated and this will be a big test for both teams. The game will be televised live on NBA at 10:15 eastern time on Saturday.
The on again, off again deal between the Sixers and Andre Iguodala is apparently on again. Philly Daily News reports that the deal for six seasons and $80 million, including an additional $5 million in incentive clauses and an opt-out clause after the fifth season was agreed to yesterday and should be signed and finalized next week. There are thoughts around the league are that the Sixers overpaid to keep Iguodala. But, with Elton Brand, Iguodala, Dalembert, Miller, and the team that they have built this off season, the Sixers are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.
With the injury to Jason Smith, the Sixers are looking for another big man to fill out their roster and it has been reported that they have offered a contract for the veteran's minimum to former Celtic Theo Ratliff, better known for his contract than his play with the Celtics. He played only 2 games but his contract was instrumental in bringing KG to Boston. Ratliff reportedly has other offers for more than the minimum, but is interested in returning to Philadelphia where he played from 1997 through 2001.
The Portland Trailblazers announced Wednesday that guard Brandon Roy will have arthroscopic knee surgery on Thursday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The tear was found in an MRI on Tuesday. He is expected to be healed and ready for training camp. This is another of those what might have been players. The Celtics traded the draft pick that became Brandon Roy to the Blazers for Telfair and Ratliff. While Roy is a very, very good player and would have been a difference maker for the Celtics, Telfair and Ratliff were instrumental in bringing KG to Boston so it worked out ok in the end.
It seems sad that former Celtic and current Cavalier, Wally Szczerbiak has been reduced to being talked about as an expiring contract. In spite of his scoring ability, knee and ankle injuries have severely limited him over the past several years and now, his value is mostly what his expiring contract can bring them at the deadline.
The latest in the Phoenix Suns' point guard search is that a Slovenian court has settled a dispute between two European teams over how much of Goran Dragic’s potential buyout agreement each would receive. In spite of the fact that Dragic has said on several occasions that he will stay in Europe, the Suns are still hoping that he will negotiate a buyout and play for the Suns this season. But the Suns are ready to use a portion of their mid-level expectation to sign Dragic to a multi-year contract that will allow him to negotiate a buyout a year early and become the full-time backup to Steve Nash this season.
Dwyane Wade is playing at a very high level in the Olympics and this gives hope to Heat fans. With Wade back 100% and Shawn Marion on the team along with a very impressive rookie in Michael Beasley, Heat fans have to be excited for this season. Alonzo Mourning has said that he hopes to be back at 100% by December if not before. Mourning sees Wade as an MVP candidate next season and also feels that Pat Riley isn't finished yet. The Heat is yet another team that has improved itself this off season and will provide a challenge to the Celtics in their quest to repeat as champions.
We reported that Chris Kaman has gotten some flak from both the Clippers and his dad for playing on Germany's Olympic team. Now, it appears Kobe Bryant has joined in those giving him a hard time. When Kobe heard that Chris was playing for the German team he went up to him and asked Kaman to give him just one word in German and he couldn't do it. But Kaman isn't the only one playing for a team that he has very loose ties with. The Georgian beach volleyball team is composed of Brazilian ringers awarded Georgian citizenship in anticipation of the Olympics. After the Georgian team beat the team from Russia, there were some hard feelings from the Russians.
On her way out of the arena, Russia's Natalya Uryadova doubted that either opponent could name the Georgia president. Now, she bitterly pointed out the absurdity their triumph. "If they were Georgian, they would certainly be an influence," she said. "But in fact, they are not." Offended and mostly embarrassed, Saka promptly tried to diffuse the situation, giving much credit to the Russians. And then this actually came out of her mouth: "I don't want this to be a war between us."
The Georgian team even have assumed names for the Olympics. Then there is Becky Hammon, who grew up in South Dakota, and is playing for the Russian team. Pittsburgh native and former Bucknell star J.R. Holden is playing for the Russian team. It is safe to say that the Olympics aren't what they used to be. They have a certain mercenary feel to them these days.
This picture has nothing to do with anything, but after seeing it on Perkisabeast, I just thought it strangely fascinating. Might explain a lot about the Lakers, though.