Baron Davis going back to home state as Warrior

Updated: February 24, 2005, 10:28 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors acquired guard Baron Davis from the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday for guard Speedy Claxton and forward Dale Davis.

Baron Davis
Davis

Baron Davis, a two-time All-Star who finished sixth in the NBA in scoring last season, will form a potent backcourt combination with Jason Richardson in Golden State. He has played just 17 games this season while struggling with several minor injuries, but still is considered one of the league's top point guards.

Baron Davis informed reporters of the deal in New Orleans shortly after the NBA trade deadline passed. The former UCLA star craved a return to California after spending his first 5½ NBA seasons with the Hornets in Charlotte and New Orleans.

Davis played in the Hornets' home loss to Seattle on Wednesday night after missing the previous 17 games with a bruised Achilles tendon.

"For me it's sad, because I consider this home and because of all the people I've met here and built relationships with," Davis said. "You know it hurts, but at the same time I don't regret any decisions that I made. I don't think the Hornets regret any decisions that they made. It was just time for us to part ways."

Davis clashed with new coach Byron Scott this season, particularly when Davis chose to do his lengthy rehabilitation from his heel injury back home in Los Angeles in recent weeks. The Hornets also made the deal to clear salary cap room, since Davis is owed approximately $63 million over the next four years.

But the Warriors gladly will pay that price to add an elite player to their core of Richardson, Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy, Adonal Foyle and Fisher.

When news of ESPN.com's report that the Warriors were closing in on Davis circulated around the Arena in Oakland on Wednesday night, Richardson was thrilled.

"I'm on the phone right now,'' he said. "Me and B.D. are good friends. That would be huge for the franchise. He can do a lot of things when he's healthy.''

Claxton was in his second year with the Warriors, but the former Hofstra guard never got comfortable. He fought off challenges for his starting job from Nick Van Exel and Derek Fisher, but couldn't score consistently enough to help Golden State become a winner.

Dale Davis, a 14-year veteran, is in his first season with Golden State, which acquired him from Portland in a deal for Van Exel. He hasn't played consistently with the Warriors, but his contract expires this summer.

The Hornets are the Western Conference's worst team at 11-43, while the Warriors are right above them at 16-38.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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