The Cleveland Cavaliers, unwilling to meet Derek Anderson's asking price for a contract extension, traded him and Johnny Newman to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday for Lamond Murray.
Anderson, 25, was entering the final year of his three-year rookie contract. The 6-foot-6 guard was seeking a seven-year, $60 million extension from the Cavs.
But while he averaged 11.3 points for the Cavs in the last two seasons, Anderson also missed 28 games with knee injuries. And by drafting shooting guard Trajan Langdon from Duke in June, Cleveland's backcourt was getting crowded.
The attraction for the Clippers was Anderson, an explosive leaper and finisher who played two years for Cleveland after being drafted out of Kentucky.
"Derek's a very athletic guy, an up-tempo type of player," said Elgin Baylor, Clippers vice president of basketball operations. "He has speed and quickness. He's an explosive player who gets to the basket."
Cavaliers general manager Jim Paxson said Anderson's contract status was one factor among several motivating the deal.
Murray, 26, a free agent who also negotiated with San Antonio, had played his entire five-year career with the Clippers. Used primarily at small forward, he averaged 12.2 points last year after losing his starting job 13 games into the season.
Paxson said it's hard to judge anyone based on last year's strike-shortened season. He sees Murray as someone who adds depth to the Cavaliers roster, which was riddled with injuries last season, and can keep defenses from collapsing on big men Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Shawn Kemp.
Paxson said only the agreement with Murray was a "multiyear deal," although the Orange County Register reported it would be a seven-year, $25 million contract. Cleveland still wants to re-sign fre agent forward Cedric Henderson, which Paxson said is a club priority.
Murray said he's excited to play for Cleveland after five losing seasons as a Clipper.
"It was roller coaster ride throughout the five years I was there," he said. "I never knew where I stood in terms of the organization. It was a difficult time for me."
The 35-year-old Newman has one year remaining on his contract. The 14-year veteran averaged 6.1 points in 50 games last season.
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