Cavaliers get Mo Williams and OKC gets Desmond Mason in 6-player, 3-team trade
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Mo Williams from the Milwaukee Bucks, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. In exchange, the Cavaliers sent guard Damon Jones to the Milwaukee Bucks and forward/center Joe Smith to Oklahoma City. The additional components of the three-team trade included Milwaukee acquiring guard/forward Adrian Griffin and guard Luke Ridnour from Oklahoma City and Oklahoma City acquiring forward Desmond Mason from Milwaukee.
“Acquiring Mo strengthens our nucleus of players for both the short and long term. He is entering his prime NBA years and will be part of the foundation of our future success,” Ferry said. “Mo is a player that excels as a traditional point guard, but also brings an extra dimension with his scoring and versatility. His ability to push the tempo, get inside the lane, shoot from the perimeter and distribute the ball will be very valuable for us.”
Williams, 25, averaged 17.2 points in 36.5 minutes per game and posted career highs in assists per game (6.3), field goal percentage (.480), three-point shooting (89-231; .385) and free throw percentage (.856) in 66 games (all starts) during the 2007-08 season. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard was one of just six players in the NBA (Baron Davis, LeBron James, Andre Miller, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade) to post averages of at least 17.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds last season. A five-year veteran, Williams has played in 329 games (226 starts) and has career averages of 12.5 points on .444 shooting, 3.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists.
“We’re pleased to add Desmond Mason and Joe Smith to our team,” OKC General Manager Sam Presti said. “Both players bring us a wealth of NBA experience and professionalism, and we’re excited to bring them to our organization in Oklahoma City.”
Mason played last season with the Milwaukee Bucks where he averaged 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Prior to joining the Bucks, Mason played two seasons with the New Orleans Hornets, but spent both seasons in Oklahoma City when the Hornets where forced to move following Hurricane Katrina. In 599 career games in the NBA, the 6-5 forward has averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. The Oklahoma State University alum was named an Honorable Mention All-American his senior season in Stillwater and finished his career with the Cowboys fourth on the all-time scoring list (1,702), fourth on the all-time rebounding list (795), fourth in steals (158) and second in games played (129). Mason was originally drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2000 with the 17th overall selection in the first round.
Smith is a 13-year veteran of the NBA and helped the Cleveland Cavaliers in their playoff run last season by averaging 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 13 post-season games. Smith was acquired by the Cavs on Feb. 21 of last year. A veteran of 893 regular season and 32 post-season games, Smith has averaged 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in his 13 seasons. He has scored 20 or more points 113 times including a 31-point outburst last season on Jan. 3 vs. Portland when Smith was a member of the Chicago Bulls. The 6-10 forward has also scored 30 or more points 14 times. He was named the National Collegiate Player of the Year and was named First Team All-America by the AP and Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year while at the University of Maryland. Smith was originally drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the No. 1 overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft.
“Our challenge from day one has been to shape our roster in a way that our fans will see a team that is competitive, that plays hard every night and has a chance to win,” said Bucks General Manager John Hammond. “We feel this trade continues to move us toward that goal for this season and beyond.”
Ridnour (6-2, 175) was drafted by Seattle in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft (14th overall). The five-year pro appeared in 61 games (five starts) for the Sonics last season and averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 assists in 20.0 minutes per game. In the three seasons prior to the 2007-08 campaign, Ridnour started in 217 of the 232 games he appeared in and averaged 10.8 points, 6.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He has shot over 85 percent from the free throw line in three of his five seasons and owns a career percentage of .855. In 362 career games, the 27-year-old has averaged 9.1 points and 5.0 assists.
Jones (6-3, 195) returns to Milwaukee for his 11th season in the NBA. He was with the Bucks during the 2003-04 season and averaged 7.0 points and 5.8 assists in 82 games. The 31-year-old appeared in 67 games for Cleveland last season, helping the Cavaliers to their third straight postseason by averaging 6.5 points and 1.9 assists in 19.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range. Jones has been to the playoffs in each of the last five seasons and has 59 postseason games on his NBA resume during which time he has averaged 5.6 points and 2.5 assists. In addition to the Bucks and Cavaliers, Jones has also spent time with New Jersey, Boston, Golden State, Dallas, Vancouver, Detroit, Sacramento, and Miami. He has appeared in 639 career games and owns averages of 6.7 points and 2.8 assists.
Griffin (6-5, 230) comes to Milwaukee having played for five teams over nine NBA seasons. He split time with Chicago and Seattle during the 2007-08 campaign, averaging 1.9 points and 1.7 rebounds in 35 total games. He has played in 477 career games with Boston, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Seattle and owns career averages of 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds. He has played in 48 playoff games, including 20 during Dallas’ run to the NBA Finals in 2006. The Seton Hall product spent three years in the CBA, the USBL and the Italian League following graduation before signing with the Celtics prior to the 1999-00 season.
“We thank Mo and Desmond for their contributions both on and off the court and wish them well with their new teams,” Hammond added.