Bucks trade Williams to Cavaliers in six-player deal

By PA SportsTicker

The Cleveland Cavaliers added another piece to build around superstar LeBron James.

The Cavaliers on Wednesday acquired point guard Mo Williams from the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team deal that included six players.

In exchange for Williams, Cleveland sent guard Damon Jones to the Milwaukee Bucks and forward Joe Smith to Oklahoma City.

The Bucks also acquired point guard Luke Ridnour and swingman Adrian Griffin from Oklahoma City, which received forward Desmond Mason from Milwaukee.

Williams averaged 17.2 points and a team-high 6.3 assists for the Bucks last season. The 25-year-old Williams was one of just six players in the NBA - James was another - to post averages of at least 17.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds last season.

“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,” Cavaliers general manager Danny 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.”

Mason, a first-round pick of Seattle in 2000, averaged 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists for Milwaukee last season. He will provide depth along with the 6-10 Smith, who has averaged 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game in his 13 seasons.

“We’re pleased to add Desmond Mason and Joe Smith to our team,” Oklahoma City GM 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.”

Ridnour, Jones and Griffin joined a crowded backcourt in Milwaukee. Ridnour averaged 6.4 points and 4.0 assists in a reserve role last season after starting the previous three seasons in Seattle, in which he averaged 10.8 points, 6.0 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

“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,” Bucks general manager John Hammond said. “We feel this trade continues to move us toward that goal for this season and beyond.”

The well-traveled Jones is headed to his 11th team in his 11th season in the league. In 639 career games, he has averaged 6.7 points and 2.8 assists.

Griffin is entering his 10th season and will be joining his sixth team, including two stints each with the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks. He owns career averages of 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 477 career games.


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Updated Wednesday, Aug 13, 2008