”It can help us. I think Mo is a very good point guard,” James said today in Beijing after Team USA beat Greece 92-69 in Olympics pool play, a game in which he scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds, had six assists and blocked three shots.
”He can create for himself and create for others, so it’s a great move. I think it’s an ‘A.’ ”
If you are a Cavaliers fan, then you most likely know Brian Windhorst. Brian has covered the Cavaliers like no body else since Lebron James was drafted. He uncovered so many stories, most recenetly the Big trade that brought Ben Wallace, D. West, Wally, and Joe Smith to the Cavaliers.
He is also the author of the “The Franchise, LeBron James and the Remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers”
Brian has been in the hospital for 55 days dealing with health issues. Yesterday was the day he got to go home for the first time.
On his way home, he uncovered the final Cavaliers trade that brought Mo Willliams to Cleveland and dictated the story from the car over the phone.
“Most sportswriters never get to have a “Willis Reed” moment, but Brian has certainly had his.”
Welcome back Brian! WeÂ look forward to reading your column again.
Jones has played in Milwaukee before, but his main question now is whether he’ll stay there. The Bucks have a surplus of guards.
“I guess we’ll see,” Jones said. “I appreciate the organization for moving me if they weren’t going to have a significant role for me in the last year of my contract. At the same time, I’m upset they weren’t able to find a role for me.”, The Plain Dealer.Â
According to a NBA executive, The Milwaukee Bucks have traded point guard Mo Williams to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3 team 6 player deal.Â The Bucks will receive shooting guard Damon Jones from the Cavs, while also acquiring power forward Adrian Griffin and Luke Ridnour from Oklahoma City.Â Form the deal, Oklahoma City will acquire Joe Smith and the Bucksâ€™ small forward Desmond Mason.
According to Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon Journal, â€œWilliams scored 17.2 points per game with the Bucks last season. He averaged 6.3 assists in 66 games, shooting 48 percent from the field, 86 percent from the free-throw line. He was drafted out of the University of Alabama by the Utah Jazz in the second round of the 2003 NBA Draft.Â Williams has five years and $43 million left on a contract that he signed last summer. He’ll make $8.5 million this season and owns a player option for 2012-13 at $8.5 million.â€
With this move, the odd man out currently is restricted free agent Delonte West who still does not have a contract with the Cavs.Â The Cavs still have a qualifying offer of 1 yr at 2.8 million that they have made for West so that he can continue to don the Wine and Gold of the Cavaliers.Â No word yet on any progress which has been made between the two parties.
The Cavaliers felt comfortable with this move based upon the glimpses of excellence that they saw from J.J. Hickson.Â Hickson was the Cavaliersâ€™ 1st round pick out of NC State where he averaged over 17 a game during the Las Vegas summer league.Â He will be looked upon to pick up the production that Joe Smith contributed to this past season.Â He will be looking for playing time inside along with Ben Wallace and Anderson Varejao.
The 2008 Summer Olympics could not have started any better for Team USA.Â After overcoming a slow start, where they were changing the leads several times with China, team USA used their poise and experience to settled down and eventually wear out China 101-70.Â LeBron James started for the “Redeem Team” and had 18 along with Dwyane Wade’s 19 off of the bench which led to the rout.Â
China started the game with a 3 by Yao Ming and then China went on to make 8 of the team’s first 12 three pointers to keep the game close.Â On the other hand, Team USA started 1/12 behind the arc in the first half, but finished shooting 7/29.Â China kept making shot after shot and was tied with the Americans at 29 before Team USA pulled away.Â This was due to the ball pressure that Kobe Bryant applied to the Chinese guards.Â Bryant’s pressure led to many turnovers and fast break opportunities which the Americans converted.
LeBron James helped his international star power with this game.Â On two different occasions, he blocked a shot and pinned the ball against the glass in mid air.Â This led to roars from the pro Chinese crowd and earned respect amongst all fans in attendance. Â James was joined by Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, and Dwight Howard as starters in the first Olympic game for the team.Â
Team USA will need to shoot the 3 better and defend against it better once they get into the medal round if they want to win the gold.Â Luckily, they have enough depth, versatility, and athleticism to overcome this.Â Most teams are looking to run a zone against the Americans and they will need to improve upon their outside shooting percentage if they expect to make it to the gold medal game.Â The next game that LeBron and company will play is on Tuesday against Angola.Â
“You never know,” James said at Team USA’s media briefing today before the Americans play Olympic host China in their first game of pool play Sunday.
“I can’t just throw all my eggs in one basket. There’s going to be a lot of opportunities for me in 2010 to decide if I want to stay with Cleveland or if I want to go elsewhere. Could I ever imagine it? No. Is it a possibility? Yes.”
James said that Russian team CSKA Moscow or Greek team Olympiacos “haven’t offered me anything.” Olympiacos, of course, recently lured Josh Childress away from the NBA by inking him to a $30 million three-year deal.
“I haven’t talked to any of them at all,” James said. “So it’s kind of a rumor that was put out there…. With the right opportunity, you never know. I love basketball. So I’ll play basketball anywhere.”
His teammates thought it was a no-brainer. “If somebody throws $50 million on the table for me,” said Carmelo Anthony, laughing, “we can talk.”
The Cavaliers will start the new season at the Garden against Boston Celtics where they ended last season with a heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The game will be will be televised on TNT.
Three of the first four games will be on the road. Their first home game will be against the Bobcats on Thursday October 30th.
Twenty five games will be televised on National TV.
You can see the complete schedule at the Cavaliers website
A source close to Lebron James said that Lebron “would strongly consider playing overseas if he was offered a salary of “around $50 million a year.”
Lebron James’ current contract expires after the 2009-10 season. Because of salary cap, no team in the NBA can offer James more than 20 million a year.
According to ESPN, The Russian team CSKA Moscow and the Greek team Olympiacos, have already contacted James, no monetary or contractual discussions have taken place according to the person close to James.
But is it even possible for a Euro team to pay that much money?
“it is within the realm of possibility, considering the reported $250 million contract David Beckham received two years ago to join Major League Soccer, the $33 million Michael Jordan was paid by the Chicago Bulls for the 1997-98 season, the strength of the euro in comparison to the dollar, and the fact that European clubs are not bound by a salary cap”
James might strongly consider this (do you blame him?) for one or two year. It is an opportunity to make a lot of money plus popularize his name overseas and the game. The Major League Soccer paid David Beckham $250 million to play in the U.S for two five years in hopes to popularize the game. Same might happen with James or any other NBA superstar.
The NBA is not concerned
“NBA’s president of league and basketball operations, said the league is not concerned about this developing trend.
“I don’t want to say it’s much ado about nothing, but we think it’s overblown a bit,” Litvin said. “It’s not something we’re losing sleep over.”