Friday, August 15, 2008

Three Clevelanders Traded

The events of the last few days have left Cleveland pro sports minus three key veteran players. Paul Byrd of the Indians was traded to Boston for cash considerations and in a much larger deal Damon Jones and Joe Smith of the Cavaliers were traded to Milwaukee for Maurice Williams (Smith was then traded to Oklahoma City). All three players were veterans who were well-liked on their teams and by the fans. Let's take a look back on their time in Cleveland.

Joe Smith

The shortest tenured Clevelander played only 41 games with the Cavaliers last season (27 regular season, 14 playoff) before being shipped off in the Mo Williams deal. Smith was originally acquired as a "throw-in" in the Ben Wallace/Larry Hughes deal with Chicago but proved to be a valuable asset to the Cavs, averaging 8.1 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game with a reliable midrange jumper. Smith's best game as a Cavalier came in a 17-point effort in a Game 3 playoff win over Boston.

Paul Byrd

Byrd played 2+ seasons for the Indians after being signed as a free agent in the 2006 offseason. He finished his stint with the Indians with a 32-27 record and an ERA under 4.75, impressive numbers for a man once thought to be a #5 starter for the Tribe at best. Byrd was 2-0 in last year's playoff run including the clinching game vs. the New York Yankees. Let's take a look at where his stats rank in Indians pitching history:

32 wins (72nd all-time)
84 starts (59th all-time)
84 games (141st all-time)
502.1 innings (80th all-time)
232 strikeouts (91st all-time)
4 complete games (162nd all-time)
2 shutouts (91st all-time)

Damon Jones

A well-liked character with a personality as large as his ego, Damon Jones once called himself the greatest shooter in the world. While maybe not that, DJ was a good three point threat who hit many great shots for the Cavaliers. In 2005-06, his first season with Cleveland, Damon was an ironman for the Cavs playing in all 82 games with 6.7 points and 2.1 assists per game. In his second campaign, Damon was selected to the All-Star Game's Three Point Shootout where he didn't win but finished a solid 5th. In his last season, 07-08, Damon shot a Cavalier-best 41.6% from three point range with 6.5 points a contest. Some of his most memorable moments come on the grandest of stages. In a key late-season game in 2006, Damon drilled the winning 3 pointer vs. the Raptors. He would go on to come cold off the bench, having not played a single second, and win Game 6 vs. Washington in the playoffs with a short jumper. Damon finishes 6th in Cavaliers regular season history with 344 three pointers made and 6th with 877 attempted. He finishes 15th in playoff history with 29 games played and 10th with 14 three pointers made. Let's take a look at some of Damon's more memorable moments:

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