Agent: Mo Williams Never Asked for Trade From Cavaliers
LeBron James is gone. Cleveland has the worst team in the NBA and just lost an NBA-record 26 straight games.
Despite that, agent Mark Bartelstein said guard Mo Williams never asked for a trade from the Cavaliers.
"No, he didn't,'' Bartelstein told FanHouse on Thursday. "He was going to be a good soldier. The Cavs have been great to him.''
While Williams was willing to stick it out, he was traded Thursday to the Los Angeles Clippers along with forward Jamario Moon for guard Baron Davis and a 2011 first-round pick. The deal, made at the NBA trade deadline, was intriguing enough for Williams to make adjustments to his contract.
Williams originally could opt out this summer of the final two years of his deal, when he is scheduled to earn $8.5 million in each. But, in order to facilitate the trade, Bartelstein said Williams agreed to change his contract so that now he only can opt in the summer of 2012 for the final year.
Bartelstein, though, said Williams does have some sadness in leaving Cleveland.
"A little bit of mixed emotions,'' Bartelstein said of how Williams feels. "He had some great moments there and a special couple of years. But the Cavaliers are in a rebuilding mode.
"The Clippers are a team on the rise. So he is excited about playing the role of a veteran leader. He'll miss Cleveland but this is a great opportunity for him.''
In his previous two seasons with the Cavaliers, with James on hand, they went 127-37. Williams made the All-Star Game in 2009, a season in which he averaged a career-high 17.8 points.
However, after James became a free agent and bolted to Miami, it all changed this season. The Cavaliers are 10-47, and Williams, 28, has seen his scoring average fall to 13.3 from 15.8 during an injury-riddled season.
The Cavaliers made the deal and agreed to take on Davis' hefty remaining salaries of $13.95 million next season and $14.85 million in 2012-13 due to their desire to get a first-round pick this summer that likely will be in the lottery.
Davis did not want to be traded. He had said that in a Dec. 26 interview with FanHouse.
"I don't want to leave,'' Davis, who signed a five-year, $65 million contract in the summer of 2008, said then. "I'm here. I came here for a reason. If I were to be traded, I just think that I just never really got a chance to do what I was signed here to do.''
Despite the move, Davis' agent, Bill Duffy said his client will be professional about it.
"He was shocked by it, like everyone," Duffy told the Sporting News. "He liked playing with (Clippers star forward) Blake Griffin, they had a nice chemistry going. But the Clippers made a decision. Baron will go to Cleveland, and he will play and be a good soldier."
Also Thursday, Bartelstein said it hasn't been determined yet whether guard Marquis Daniels, one of his clients, is out for the season due to a bruised spinal cord. Before Daniels was traded Thursday from Boston to Sacramento, Celtics general manager Danny Ainge had told CSNEE.com "there is a chance that he will miss the season and may need surgery to resume his playing career'' due to the injury suffered Feb. 6 against Orlando.
"We don't know yet,'' Bartelstein said of Daniels' health. "He's going to have some more tests next week.''
And Bartelstein said his highest-paid client, Indiana forward Danny Granger was pleased to see the trade deadline pass and remain with the Pacers.
"He loves it there,'' Bartelstein said of Granger, making $10.97 million. "He feels great.''
There had been some rumors about Granger possibly being moved. But Indiana president Larry Bird told FanHouse last month he had no plans to trade Granger.
Meanwhile, the Pacers (26-30) are going the opposite way of the Cavaliers. They're 9-3 since Jim O'Brien was fired Jan. 30 and Frank Vogel took over as interim coach.